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Pakistan condemns Nizami's hanging; Turkey recalls envoy



Bangladesh on Thursday deployed thousands of police in the capital to prevent violence, after the main Islamist party called a nationwide strike to protest against its leader's execution for war crimes.

Jamaat-e-Islami party president Motiur Rahman Nizami was hanged late on Tuesday following his conviction for the massacre of intellectuals during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and Bangladesh summoned each other's ambassadors on Thursday to register"strong protest" in connection with a row over the executions.

Pakistan said Nizami's hanging was"unfortunate" and attempts by Bangladesh to malign Pakistan were"regrettable," though it was not clear what Bangladeshi statement Pakistan was referring to.

Bangladesh summoned the Pakistani ambassador in Dhaka to register its"strong protest" over statements by Pakistan.

Relations between the two countries have never recovered from the 1971 war when Bangladeshi nationalists, backed by India, broke away from what was then West Pakistan.

Turkey on Thursday condemned the hanging of Nizami. It has also recalled its ambassador to Bangladesh for 'consultations'.

Turkey's ambassador to Dhaka, Devrim Ozturk, is due to arrive back in Turkey on Thursday, the state-run Anatolia news agency said.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly condemned the execution and lashed out at Europe for not speaking out against the execution."Weren't you against executions?" Erdogan said."There was no noise (from the EU) because the person who was executed was a Muslim."

The Turkish foreign ministry had already strongly condemned the execution, saying it did not believe that"Nizami deserved such a punishment".

It said that Turkey, which has abolished capital punishment, feared that the use of such methods risked creating"rancour and hatred between our Bangladeshi brothers".

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakria, during his weekly briefing in Islamabad, said the acting high commissioner of Bangladesh was summoned to record Pakistan's strong protest against the hanging.

Jamaat called for the 24-hour shutdown throughout Bangladesh, which is reeling from a string of gruesome murders of secular and liberal activists and religious minorities by suspected Islamists.

But shops and other businesses were open in Dhaka and police officials reported no protests in the capital or in Nizami's hometown of Pabna in the northwest.


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