The Bangladesh government is making all the efforts towards a healthy diplomatic relation futile. Mr Ayaz Sadiq, Speaker of National Assembly, announced on Thursday that parliamentarians from Pakistan will not be participating in the 13th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU) in Dhaka.

Pakistan, for the longest time, has been making efforts for good relations. Pakistan’s parliamentary delegation had unanimously voted in favour of the Speaker of Bangladesh, Dr Sharmeen Chaudhary for the post of chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in Cameroon in 2014, Bangladesh’s candidate Abdul Sabour Chaudhary was voted by Pakistan to become IPU’s president in 2014, and Mr Ayaz Sadiq personally met the High Commissioner of Bangladesh here to press for the need of improving diplomatic ties.

In return for all these gestures, Pakistan faces an unfriendly attitude, malicious attacks and propaganda to defame us on international platforms. Bangladesh, in the last two years, has boycotted all parliamentary moots that were to take place in Pakistan. These include SAARC Young Parliamentarians Conference in 2016, International Women Parliamentarians Conference and The Asian Parliamentary Assembly in 2017. And this is despite being sent personal requests.

The decision of the government to not send parliamentarians is well thought out. Actions need to be reciprocated, and ties need to be maintained in good faith. It has been 46 years since their independence, Pakistan has not interfered in their internal matters. Up till now, Bangladesh has only cornered us and used the victim card, even at forums that can mend relations.

In 2009, the government of Bangladesh even went on to create the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) to prosecute and punish Bangladeshis (particularly Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami supporters) who were against the independence of the country and wanted to remain a part of Pakistan. Years after independence, the state is carrying out such persecutions, motivated by its puppet master, India. Pakistan still has not interfered or threatened the country, but enough time has passed since 1973 to have come to terms with the mistakes of the past and make amends. Apparently this was too optimistic an expectation from a country so myopic that it only has India to rely on in the region.