India, Pakistan and Bangladesh signed their first tripartite agreement in New Delhi on Tuesday (April 9), and opened the way to the release of Pakistani war prisoners still held India.
GV EXT, Foreign Ministry Building, Delhi.
SV FROM left to right, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan take seats.
CU Officials look on
SV Foreign Minister signing
CU Bangladesh Foreign Minister signing
CU Aziz Ahmed
SV PAN Ministers blotting documents
SV Minister rise, documents exchanged and ministers join in applause.
Initials AE/1.34 AE/1.55
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh signed their first tripartite agreement in New Delhi on Tuesday (April 9), and opened the way to the release of Pakistani war prisoners still held India. The accord was described as bringing a final solution to problems still remaining from the 1971 war of liberation in Bangladesh.
In order to reach agreement, Bangladesh has relinquished its plans to try 195 Pakistanis -- those still held in India -- as war criminals. Pakistan, for its part, "condemned and deeply regretted any crimes that may have been committed" by its forces against the Bengali population in 1971.
The historic document was signed in New Delhi by the Foreign Ministers of the three countries -- Mr. Swaran Singh of Indian, Mr. Aziz Ahmed of Pakistan and Dr. Kamal Hossain of Bangladesh.
Though the agreement was primarily concerned with the remaining prisoners, its implications are wider. In the words of mr. Singh, she three countries "have reached the threshold of reconciliation." It is expected to lead to a speedy normalisation of relationships between the three countries.
The agreement also contained a clause specifically relating to the plight of the Biharis, members of the non-Bengali population in Bangladesh. Pakistan has agreed to re-examine applications from Biharis who want to settle in Pakistan.
In addition, India and Pakistan have signed a new bilateral agreement. Under its terms, hundreds of Indian and Pakistanis detained in the prisons of both countries before the 1971 war will be released. The deadline for repatriation is August 14.