DHAKA: Bangladesh has approved Imran Ahmad Siddiqui as the new Pakistani High Commissioner to Bangladesh, high commission authorities in Dhaka said on Wednesday, filling a post that has been vacant for nearly 20 months.
At the end of the British colonial rule of India in 1947, the territory of what is now Bangladesh became East Pakistan, politically united with West Pakistan but separated from it by hundreds of kilometers of Indian land.
East Pakistan broke away to become independent Bangladesh after a war between India and Pakistan in 1971 in which about three million people were killed. Relations between the two nations have remained frosty since.
Syedah Saqlain was initially posted to Dhaka as a high commissioner but the Bangladesh foreign ministry did not approve her nomination even after 18 months and she was subsequently posted as Pakistan’s ambassador to Kenya.
Siddiqui’s received the approval of the Bangladesh foreign ministry in about a month and a half. The Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka has called the appointment of the new ambassador a “good start.”
“I thank once again the authorities in Bangladesh for their kind support. I think things will improve from now on,” Muhammad Aurongzeb Haral, Press Councillor to the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka, told Arab News. “It was received at Pakistan foreign office either on Wednesday or Tuesday. But we received the confirmation at Dhaka only on Wednesday afternoon,” Haral added.
Siddiqui is currently serving as consul general in Toronto and is expected in Dhaka next week, Haral said, adding that he hoped Siddiqui’s arrival would improve relations between the two countries.
But experts in Dhaka said there was little hope of any “bilateral letup.”
“We hope the clouds of diplomatic crises will disappear in the days to come, clearing all obstacles to lost mutual trust and stalled bilateral issues,” said Ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmad, chairman of the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies.
Amena Mohsin, a professor of international relations at Dhaka University said the appointment of the new Pakistan high commissioner was a routine procedure.
“The bilateral stalemate involves many other issues which are likely to remain unchanged,” Mohsin said.