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Bangladesh and Pakistan relationship with Palestine By Halima Akter

Bangladesh and Pakistan both retain a closer and bilateral relationship with Palestine. Both country support Palestine in the context of the war of Israel. These countries have criticized the brutality of Israel towards the Palestinian people.

From the view of Bangladesh, during the war of independence in 1971, Palestine and its leaders, including Yaseer Arafat, had opposed it. That time Palestine was too against Bangladesh and had supported Pakistan by blaming Bengali as "terrorists."

Time had gone, and the relations had turned to affinity during the October War in 1973 when the Palestinian's fight against Israel happened. At that moment, Bangladesh assisted by sending a medical team and relief supplies for Palestinians. Bangladesh was opposed to Israel's occupation in Palestine, as well as its massacres. Bangladesh is one of the 137 countries to recognize Palestine as a State since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence on November 15, 1988. The most notably high-level meeting between the two countries took place in 1974 at the Second OIC summit, where Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Yaseer Arafat were present. Then Yasser Arafat visited Bangladesh in 1981 and 1987. A relationship with PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) became established at that period for which Bangladesh allowed the opening of a PLO office in the capital, Dhaka. Besides, a report as per the US Library of Congress, the Bangladeshi government reported in 1987 that – 8,000 Bangladeshi youths had volunteered to fight for the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Embassy of the State of Palestine is in Dhaka, which represents the excellent relationship between Bangladesh and Palestine. Overall, In the context of Palestinians, Bangladesh is committed to supporting it. Bangladesh does not maintain a direct or indirect diplomatic relationship with Israel.

Moreover, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met Grand Mufti of Al Aqsa Mosque and State of Palestine Sheikh Mohamed Ahmed Hossain at her official residence Gonobhaban. She said,"Bangladesh will continue to support the cause of Palestine and always stand by its people."

Still, now, Bangladesh supports Palestinians after the fact of the UAE (United Arab Emirate) agreement with Israel.

It has been remarked that Palestine supports Pakistan during the War of Independence, and it can be easily guessed that their relations are strong and entrenched. Pakistan is always a side of  Palestine. Pakistan is against Israel’s injustice occupation.

Very recently, after the UAE agreement with Israel, Pakistani Prime Minister said, His country will not recognize Israel.”“Whatever any country does, our position is very clear. And our position was made clear by (Pakistan’s founder) Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1948 that we cannot ever accept Israel as long as Palestinians are not given their rights and there is no just settlement”. He also mentioned that If Pakistan consented Israel and denied the Palestinians, they will lose Kashmir. He also believes if Pakistan supports Israel, they have to be responsible for it to Allah.

So there is a good relationship between Bangladesh and Pakistan with Palestine undoubtedly. Both countries are devoted supporters toward Palestine.

Halima Akter, Department of International Relations, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh

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