New Delhi : President Ram Nath Kovind will be in Dhaka on the completion of 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence. 16 December is the day when the Eastern Command of the Pakistani Army led by General AAK Niazi with 93,000 soldiers laid down its arms in front of the Indian and Bangladeshi armies. With this result the liberation struggle came to an end and an independent country was born.
India stood shoulder to shoulder with the people of Bangladesh, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said in his press conference ahead of the President’s visit on Tuesday. It was a matter of faith for us. President Kovind will be in Dhaka to celebrate the golden jubilee of this momentous occasion. This is his first visit to Bangladesh as well as the first time he is leaving the country after the pandemic.
President Kovind’s two-day state visit is taking place at the invitation of Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid. He will be the chief guest at the victory ceremony on the occasion. The ceremony will be attended by a military parade and a contingent of the three Indian armies will also participate. India played a key role in the liberation of Bangladesh under the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Hasina and her Awami League supporters have not forgotten this. More than 1,000 Indian soldiers were killed in the war. The President left for Dhaka on Wednesday. And his first visit will be the National Martyrs Memorial in the capital, where he will pay homage to all those who died for freedom.
This also includes those who died not only during the war, but also during the period before the war, when brute force was used by Pakistan on civilians. In 1971, the Pakistani army used force on civilians in which about three million people were killed. The infamous murders of Dhaka University intellectuals and students, and the atrocities perpetrated on the civilian population who supported the independence movement, are well-known.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Abdul Momen will call on President Kovind. Shringla said India-Bangladesh relations are passing through a golden phase and Dhaka remains a central pillar of India’s neighborhood first policy. Shringla did not speak on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Bangladesh, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) or the communal violence and unrest in Bangladesh during Durga Puja celebrations this year. Instead he focused on the positivity in bilateral ties and pointed out that the political leadership of the two countries has “addressed issues that have come up from time to time, without affecting the relations between the countries.” He said the president’s visit is “an opportunity to renew our bonds.” Talking about the depth between the countries, he said that despite the pandemic, bilateral trade has increased from $ 9.46 billion last year to $10.78 billion, a growth of 14 per cent.
He said the president’s visit is “a great cause and to remember a great victory”. At this time there is an atmosphere of celebration in both Delhi and Dhaka.