One major impediment in taking Pakistan-Bangladesh relationship forward is communication gap as the issues are deemed so sensitive that they can’t be discussed on mainstream media. However, we should effectively utilize the social media to bring the conversation about these issues to the citizens of both countries. This will help in finding commonalities and hence enhancing people-to-people interactions. These were the remarks made by Ms. Amber Rahim Shamsi, Head of Communications, Tabadlab, while speaking at the third webinar in the series “Pakistan-Bangladesh Relations” organized by the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), earlier today. Speakers included Mr. Sajjadur Rahman, Editor, Business Insider Bangladesh, Ms. Sumi Khan, journalist and media consultant, Bangladesh, and Mr. Imtiaz Gul, Executive Director of CRSS. She added that journalists’ interactions are important as they have a lot of commonalities on which they can build better collaborations. But Bangladeshi journalists aren’t willing to visit or collaborate with Pakistan. She suggested that the diplomatic gap between Pakistan and Bangladesh is because it’s been 50 years and the two countries haven’t communicated their grievances with each other. Mr. Sajjadur Rahman raised a very valid point that Pakistan and Bangladesh should try to enhance people-to-people relations as without anything happening on the diplomatic front, there is nothing for journalists to report. In order for media to play a role, something has to happen between the two countries, either on economic or trade grounds or on social grounds. He also highlighted the fact that Bangladesh has better trade and tourism relations with India as compared to Pakistan because Pakistan has a lot of internal issues specifically terrorism. Pakistan should take care of its internal issues to enhance people-to-people and bilateral relations. Ms. Sumi Khan, as well as Mr. Rahman, reinforced the recurring recommendation CRSS has been receiving in these series of webinars that Pakistan apologizing for its wrong doings in 1971 can help in boosting bilateral ties. She continued that if the two countries’ leaders have good intentions and relations, media can help in promoting and spreading the good will, just like what happened when PM Imran Khan and PM Sheikh Hasina met. She suggested that we can enhance bilateral relations only if we unite against all sorts of crimes and violence and work together for peace. Mr. Imtiaz Gul responded to Ms. Khan’s and Mr. Rahman’s recommendation by saying that the Pakistan-Bangladesh relationship has been hostage to the issue of apology. He asked if Pakistan isn’t coming forward in this regard, can Bangladesh put this issue on the back burner for a while to have economic cooperation and collaborations. The 1971 war was a war of succession and a war against separatism for Pakistan, it was just trying to preserve its territory, whereas for Bangladesh, it was a war of liberation. So it would be better if both the countries could shelve this issue for a while. He continued that we must keep in mind that the mainstream media is largely commercialized, nationalistic and politicized. So media and journalists should also understand their responsibilities by avoiding the proliferation of fake news, by uniting for peace which can happen only if we stay bipartisan and neutral. Media should understand that its responsibility is to report ideologies, not to promote any specific ideology. Lastly, he suggested that both the countries should try to keep their bilateral relations insulated from geopolitical factors.