Dhaka: Bangladesh will honour foreign
nationals and organisations for their extraordinary
contribution to its 1971 `Liberation War` at a grand function
to mark the 40th anniversary of its independence.
"We will celebrate our 40th anniversary of
independence conferring awards both on foreign nationals and
expatriate Bangladeshis, who contributed immensely during our
Liberation War," Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said today.
After a key inter-ministerial meeting that chalked up
plans to prepare a list of people to be honoured, Moni said
two separate committees have been formed to prepare a
comprehensive list and necessary guidelines in this regard.
The two panels have been directed to complete their
tasks in the next six months.
We (have) already received several lists from
different countries and embassies and we will combine a
complete list," she said.
Officials familiar with the meeting, said the
government would invite the selected personalities for the
honour. If anyone fails to come, the award would be sent to
him or her through the concerned embassy or high commission.
Bangladesh won its independence after a nine-month
bloody war with Pakistani forces in 1971 with crucial Indian
India provided economic and diplomatic support to the
Mukti Bahini rebels, leading Pakistan to launch a pre-emptive
attack on the western border of India which started the
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
On 16 December 1971, the allied forces of the Indian
army and the Mukti Bahini defeated the Pakistan Army, leading
to the surrender of over 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war.
Lt. Gen A. A. K. Niazi, CO of Pakistan Army forces
located in East Pakistan signed the instrument of surrender in
the presence of Indian commander Lt. Gen J.S. Aurora.