New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday recalled the great valour and sacrifices by Indian armed forces and the Mukti Bahini which defeated “oppressive forces” in East Pakistan in 1971 leading to its emergency as an independent Bangladesh.
Citing the presence of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind in Dhaka to attend the 50th Victory Day celebrations as Guest of Honour is of special significance to every Indian, Modi tweeted.
“On the 50th Vijay Diwas, I recall the great valour and sacrifice by the Muktijoddhas, Biranganas and brave hearts of the Indian Armed Forces. Together, we fought and defeated oppressive forces.
“(The President’s) presence in Dhaka is of special significance to every Indian,” he added.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar too congratulated his Bangladeshi counterpart Dr A.K. Abdul Momen and the people of Bangladesh on the occasion.
He said the valiant fight of the people of Bangladesh led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman against oppression and genocide will always inspire the people of both countries.
“Extend warmest congratulations to … Abdul Momen and the Government and people of Bangladesh on the 50th Victory Day celebrations.”
“Visit of Rashtrapatiji reflects our deep friendship and special bonds forged through our shared sacrifices,” he tweeted.
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said earlier: “India stood shoulder to shoulder with the people of Bangladesh during their struggle. Millions of Bangladeshis found shelter and refuge in India. We recognized Bangladesh as an independent country, the second in the world to do so, before it became free from oppression.
“It was an article of faith for us and a statement of our support for the righteousness of Bangladesh’s cause. Indian armed forces joined Bangladeshis in their struggle and 1,660 of our gallant men in uniform paid the ultimate price for the freedom of Bangladesh.”