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Diplomat recalled from Dhaka over ‘extremist link’

Updated December 24, 2015


DHAKA: Pakistan on Wednesday recalled one of its diplomats from Dhaka after she was named as allegedly having financed a suspected extremist on trial for espionage, a Bangladesh official said. Such an incident had also occurred in February this year.

“The female second secretary of the high commission was sent back to Islamabad this afternoon, two days after Dhaka informally asked for her departure,” said a senior official at the Bangladeshi foreign ministry.

Earlier this year: Pakistani diplomat expelled from Dhaka

The Pakistani High Commission did not immediately respond to a query about the whereabouts of the diplomat, who has previously been named in press reports as Farina Arshad.

The move comes after Idris Sheikh, a suspected member of the banned Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh, told a Dhaka court about his ties to Ms Arshad, saying he received funds of 30,000 taka ($380), according to police detectives.

After Sheikh’s claims against the diplomat were widely reported in the Bangladeshi media, the Pakistani mission issued a statement dismissing what it called “utterly baseless media reports... maligning a female diplomat stationed in Dhaka”.

Bangladesh’s Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said that the government would take action against Ms Arshad if the allegations against her were proved, local media said.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2015