Bangladesh’s highest state honour to Indira Gandhi

Bangladesh will honour former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with its highest state award for her outstanding contribution to the country`s 1971 `Liberation War`.

Updated: Jul 19, 2011, 18:11 PM IST

Dhaka: Bangladesh will honour former
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with its highest state
award for her outstanding contribution to the country`s 1971
`Liberation War`.

"The cabinet has decided to confer Mrs Indira Gandhi
with our highest state honour, `Bangladesh Swadhinata
Sanmanona`. So far she would be the lone recipient of the
honour," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s press secretary Abul
Kalam Azad said today.

It decided to confer the highest state honour on the
assassinated Indian prime minister for her "tremendous
contribution" to the country`s Liberation War.

"The daughter-in-law of Mrs Gandhi and Indian Congress
Party president Sonia Gandhi will receive the award from
President Zillur Rahman on July 25 at Bangabhaban presidential
palace at a special ceremony," Azad said.

Dhaka: Bangladesh will honour former
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with its highest state
award for her outstanding contribution to the country`s 1971
`Liberation War`.

"The cabinet has decided to confer Mrs Indira Gandhi
with our highest state honour, `Bangladesh Swadhinata
Sanmanona`. So far she would be the lone recipient of the
honour," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s press secretary Abul
Kalam Azad said today.

It decided to confer the highest state honour on the
assassinated Indian prime minister for her "tremendous
contribution" to the country`s Liberation War.

"The daughter-in-law of Mrs Gandhi and Indian Congress
Party president Sonia Gandhi will receive the award from
President Zillur Rahman on July 25 at Bangabhaban presidential
palace at a special ceremony," Azad said.

Hasina’s press secretary did not name the recipients
of the awards in second and third categories.

But officials familiar with the process said the list
had distinguished foreigners, includeing former heads of
states and governments and organisations such as the
International Red Cross. They would be honoured on December
16, 2011, coinciding with the country’s 40th Victory Day.

The Congress party Sonia Gandhi will visit Dhaka on
July 25 at the invitation of Prime Minister Hasina to open an
international autistic conference.

"Sonia Gandhi wears many hats. She is a family
member of Indira Gandhi who was our great friend during our
war for freedom, the President of Congress and the Chairperson
of UPA. We are very much looking forward to the visit of Sonia
Gandhi," Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told reporters
earlier this month.

Earlier, a high-level national committee had been set
up to prepare a list 500 foreign friends to be honoured. It
included 226 Indians and 40 Pakistanis. However, the
government subsequently shortlisted 47 of them and five
organisations to be honoured in December.

Shahriar Kabir, the committee`s member and Liberation
War researcher, told PTI that Bangladesh missions abroad would
organise special functions in the near future to honour others
on the list (of 500 people) in their home countries.

On March 26, 1971, Bangladesh - then East Pakistan -
declared its independence from West Pakistan. The Pakistan
Army surrendered to the allied forces of the Indian army and
the Mukti Bahini on 16 December 1971, which resulted in
Bangladesh becoming an independent nation.

PTI