In the case of Bangladesh, the line separating state security and pure vengeance is perhaps a little blurry. Pakistan has reacted angrily to the execution of Motiur Rahman Nizami, the chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, accusing Dhaka of “suppressing the opposition by killing their leaders through flawed trials”. With this execution, being the fifth one pertaining to war crimes, the country must be urged to soften its stance, and rectify its legal system that is allowing these executions to happen.

The Foreign Office has condemned this act and hundreds of politico-religious workers offered prayers for Nizami in different cities of the country. The National Assembly has also condemned the execution saying decisions of Prime Minister Haseena Wajid were spoiling its relations with Islamic world. The MNAs, before unanimously passing a resolution, also floated suggestions for the government to declare the Bangladesh ambassador to Pakistan a persona non-grata or sever diplomatic relations with that country.

The process of investigating the alleged abuses was initiated in 2010 by the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid, with opposition parties maintaining that the trials were being used as a political tool. The government denies this, but the trial proceedings do not meet international fair trial standards and the accused have not been allowed to give a proper defence. Additionally, Bangladesh is party to the 1974 tripartite agreement at New Delhi, when Bangladesh agreed not to proceed with any trials because its founder and Wajid’s father, Mujibur Rahman, had decided to make a fresh start.

For the reputation of Bangladesh itself, it is important that the standards that prevail at these trials be improved and the process be stripped of any indication of political motivation. Bangladesh is a sovereign country, and its decisions are its own, but that does not mean that its actions should not be condemned by the Muslim world.