ISLAMABAD    -    Pakistan is going through a worst period in histo­ry amid devas­tating floods but aid from Bangla­desh – formerly East Pakistan – is not what Islamabad is ready to accept for valid reasons. 

For the last few weeks, Pakistan has re­ceived massive support from across the world in cash and kind. Bangladesh also tried to come forward but Islamabad can­not forget the continuous fiery speeches against Pakistan by the Bangladesh leaders. 

“How can we accept aid from them? Don’t you remember what they say in the UN and elsewhere? They abuse us and claims to have defeated us in 1971. When they are making such statements, it will be against our honour to accept their aid. Our integrity is more important,” said a senior Pakistani diplomat. 

He said there was a consensus that the Bangladesh aid should not be accepted as Pakistan will manage the issue with the help of its friends. 

Pakistani officials say around 1,500 peo­ple have died from the flooding after in­tense monsoon rains and glacial melting, and many others rendered homeless. Hu­manitarian groups and experts warn that diseases and lack of health care are the big­gest ongoing dangers. 

The floods caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to infrastructure. Pa­kistan and the United Nations have already appealed for international assistance to re­build. 

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Hasina Wa­jid claimed her Awami League government had always been generous towards human­ity and that the authorities concerned had been directed to assist in the relief efforts in Pakistan. 

She alleged: “Pakistan Army is reported­ly averse to the proposal of aid from Bang­ladesh as any such relief assistance may un­dermine Pakistan’s global image.” 

Reportedly, Pakistan rejected Bangla­desh’s offer to supply humanitarian aid worth 14 million takas (roughly $145,000) as the country continued to suffer great loss during monsoon flooding. 

As Bangladesh offered the aide, Bangla­desh “Liberation War” Minister AKM Mo­zammel Haque underlined that the “UN must recognise March 25 as Internation­al Genocide Day alongside the existing De­cember 9.” The Hasina Wajid’s government has however, declared March 25 as the “Na­tional Genocide Day.” 

In the past, Bangladesh has repeated­ly tried to persuade the United Nations to declare the “1971 Liberation War as geno­cide.” 

Earlier, on several occasions, Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina Wajid highlighted that the South Asian nation “experienced one of the worst forms of genocide in the history of mankind.” 

She had also made this observation just ahead of the year-long celebration that the country observed to commemorate the so-called “50 years of independence.” 

Hasina Wajid has brought up the so-called issue at several fora. In December 2020, she even told Pakistan High Commissioner to Dhaka Imran Ahmed Siddiqui that the pain of the “1971 genocide will remain forever.” She has raised the issue while addressing the UN General Assembly in 2017 too. 

Another Pakistani diplomat said Paki­stan wanted good ties with Bangladesh but the statements by their leaders were ‘intolerable.’ 

“They need to show they want good ties with us. Pakistan even wants friendship with India. We are a peace loving coun­tries but our national integrity is our top­most priority. Aid can only be accepted from friends,” he remarked.