Bangladesh has for the umpteenth time protested against Pakistan’s comments over the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali and summoned Pakistani envoy Samina Mehtab on Sunday. The envoy while addressing journalists over the nature of the meeting said there was “nothing much to say,” and that really is the truth of the matter. Pakistan has the right to express its grief over the unfair execution of the Jamaat leader and what it does or does not say is no threat to Bangladesh’s sovereignty.

The opinion that Pakistan’s remarks were tantamount to interference in Bangladesh’s internal affairs is based on a flawed foreign policy that does Bangladesh no favours. Additional Foreign Secretary for bilateral affairs Qamrul Ahsan insisted that the trial was conducted with transparency. When has the ruling party of Bangladesh ever acknowledged corruption and inherent bias in the trials of the Jamaat leaders? Pakistan is not the only country to express its misgivings over the court proceedings and the executions. Ever since the trials were initiated, several international organisations and human rights groups, have raised objections regarding the fairness and transparency of the judicial process.

When Prime Minister Modi made statements in Bangladesh regarding India’s negative role in the 1971 war, was that not a challenge to our sovereignty? Modi admitted to Indian involvement in separating the people of Pakistan and Bangladesh that are bound not only by the bonds of religious affinity but also by the history of their struggle for independence against colonial rule. It is time we set aside this talk of threatening each other’s sovereignty and move on from 1971. The only lesson Bangladesh should have learnt from India was non-alignment. What have they achieved by trying to alienate themselves from the Muslim world? Is trade with India worth this alienation? India will always choose its best interests over anything else and Bangladesh should well remember that before centring their foreign policy on the friends of their enemies.