Islamabad, Nov 22: A Bangladeshi diplomat has dismissed reports that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declined to attend a high profile summit in Pakistan due to political reasons, saying that the premier could not be here due to her “administrative engagements”.
“The PM was busy in the activities in connection with the Armed Forces Day observed in Bangladesh on Wednesday. That’s why she could not land here although she really wanted to,” The Nation quoted Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes, as saying.
Quayes’ explanation contradicted a statement made by Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who had earlier said that the Bangladeshi premier could not attend the D-8 summit due to an ‘eye problem’.
Quayes denied that Hasina’s refusal to visit the country was because of Pakistan’s refusal to apologise for the 1971 war crimes.
“There’s absolutely nothing like that. It’s just her administrative engagements that kept her away from coming to Pakistan. It was so hectic that it got difficult for her to catch a flight and land here. The schedule was extremely tight you see,” Quayes said.
“I conveyed the regrets to President Zardari on behalf of our Prime Minister. He understands that it was her occupied schedule due to which she couldn’t make it here.
There’s nothing more to it. The PM has designated me and her adviser on international affairs to attend the Summit,” he further said. (ANI)