State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has reiterated the importance of resolving outstanding bilateral issues with Pakistan, including an official apology for the genocide committed during the 1971 liberation war in Bangladesh.
He also called for the completion of repatriation of Pakistanis stranded in Bangladesh, and final settlement of the issue of the division of assets, said a press release issued by the foreign ministry.
The state minister made the comments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during a courtesy call on Thursday by the newly appointed High Commissioner of Pakistan to Bangladesh Imran Ahmed Siddiqui.
He cordially welcomed the high commissioner and emphasized that enhancing relations with all neighbouring countries was a key foreign policy priority of the government.
"In that spirit, we look forward to engaging with Pakistan," he said.
Shahriar Alam also urged Pakistan to grant access to more Bangladeshi products by utilizing the existing provisions in the South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA), relaxing the negative list, and removing trade barriers. The current trade balance tilts towards Pakistan.
High Commissioner Siddiqui conveyed the very best wishes of the people and government of Pakistan to the state minister, making a commitment to focus on the advancement of bilateral relations in every facet of cooperation.
Both sides agreed on the need to hold long-pending foreign office consultations, which were last held in 2010.
The state minister assured the high commissioner of all manner of cooperation, support and assistance during his tenure in Dhaka.