ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and Bangladesh summoned each other’s ambassadors on Thursday to register “strong protest” in connection with a row over the execution of an Islamist leader in Bangladesh this week.

Bangladesh has in the past few years been prosecuting people accused of carrying out crimes in support of Pakistani forces during the war, and has executed five of them, the most recent one, Motiur Rehman Nizami, on Wednesday.

Pakistan said Nizami’s hanging was “unfortunate” and attempts by Bangladesh to malign Pakistan were “regrettable”.

Bangladesh summoned the Pakistani ambassador in Dhaka to register its “strong protest” over statements by Pakistan.

“The government of Bangladesh deeply regrets that despite Bangladesh’s repeated overtures, the malicious campaign by Pakistan against the trials of the crimes against humanity and genocide in Bangladesh is continuing,” Bangladesh said in a statement.

International human rights groups say the tribunal’s procedures fall short of international standards but Bangladesh rejects that and the trials are supported by many Bangladeshis.

Expressing its displeasure over the hanging of JI leader, Pakistan yesterday summoned the Acting High Commissioner of Bangladesh and lodged a strong protest against the unfortunate hanging.

The Bangladeshi envoy was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Director General (South Asia & Saarc) and a strong protest was lodged at the unfortunate hanging of Motiur Rehman Nizami on the alleged crimes committed before December 1971 through a ‘flawed’ judicial process.

“The attempts by the government of Bangladesh to malign Pakistan, despite our keen desire to develop brotherly relations with it, are regrettable,” said a statement.

The 1974 Tripartite Agreement is the cornerstone of relations between the two countries. It needs to be emphasised that, as part of the agreement, the government of Bangladesh ‘decided not to proceed with the trials as an act of clemency,’ said the statement

“Pakistan reiterates its desire for friendly relations with Bangladesh,” it added.

Later, during the weekly media briefing, foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria condemned the hanging of Motiur Rehman Nizami in Bangladesh. He said the controversial hanging was a topic of discussion all around the world.

Separately, the Foreign Office said a Pakistani school principal, who was in protective custody of police in Dhaka, is being taken care by the country’s High Commission in Bangladesh.

Yasmeen, the principal of City School in Dhaka, was taken into protective custody by Dhaka police in view of the law and order situation created due to misunderstanding between school administration and students parents.

Some media reports claimed that Yasmeen was illegally detained and her passport was confiscated. Clarifying the reports, Nafees Zakaria said the matter was resolved amicably.

“According (to) Pak Hi (High) Commission in Dhaka the matter has been amicably resolved. Principal is being taken care of by the Hi (High) Commission,” Zakaria wrote on Twitter.