LAHORE: Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto announced Pakistan’s recognition of Bangladesh today [Feb 22], a little while before the opening of the Islamic Summit Conference. Soon afterwards, Iran and Turkey announced … their decision to establish full diplomatic relations with Bangladesh. The recognition followed the visit to Dacca by a goodwill mission sent by the Muslim countries’ Foreign Ministers’ Conference yesterday to bring about reconciliation between Pakistan and Bangladesh. Mr. Bhutto announced the recognition in a televised address to a specially convened gathering of [officials]. … Bangladesh was now a reality and could not cease to exist if Pakistan did not recognise it [the PM said].

[Meanwhile,] amidst unprecedented scenes … the Heads of State and Government and their delegates attending the Islamic Summit today offered Juma prayers at the historic Badshahi Mosque. ... Never before in the history of the three-century-old mosque constructed by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, had so many Muslims from all over the world, including monarchs, Presidents and Prime Ministers gathered here to bow their heads before Almighty Allah. — Summit bureau

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2024

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