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ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office has withdrawn one of its diplomats from Bangladesh after he was accused of being involved in terror financing and currency forgery.

Mohammad Mazhar Khan was serving as an attaché at the consular section of the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka.

The allegations against Mr Khan were about financing of groups like Hizbut Tahir, Ansarullah Bangla Team, Jamaat-Shibir and Jamaat-i-Islami in Bangladesh and circulating fake currencies.

Bangladeshi newspaper Daily Star quoted officials of the Bangladesh foreign ministry as having said that “Mazhar left Dhaka with his family after the foreign ministry, instead of going for harsher measures like deportation, asked Islamabad to withdraw the diplomat in a week”.

A Foreign Office spokesperson in Islamabad confirmed that Mr Khan had returned and decried the charges levelled against him by the Bangladeshi authorities.

The development comes in the midst of a downturn in Pakistan-Bangladesh bilateral relations because of execution of 1971 war crime convicts.

Daily Star claimed that the Pakistani diplomat had been detained by the Dhaka police on Jan 12, after he allegedly secretly met his local contact identified as Mujibur Rehman. According to the report, hours later Mr Khan was taken away by a high commission official.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2015

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