B'desh to honour Mukherjee, 152 other foreigners
Dhaka: Bangladesh will honour President Pranab Mukherjee along with 152 foreigners for their contribution to the country's independence in 1971, coinciding with its 42nd Victory Day celebrations this year, an official statement said on Wednesday.
"President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are to confer them with the honour on December 15 (a day ahead of the Victory Day)," the statement said.
The decision to award more foreign friends ahead of Victory Day was finalised yesterday at an inter-ministerial meeting held at the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs with State Minister Capt (retd) AB Tajul Islam in the chair.
It was decided that Islam will visit India to hand over the invitation of President of Bangladesh to the President of India to attend the December 15 ceremony and to receive the award.
Foreign ministry sources said that Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has already given green signal to visit Bangladesh, the Daily Star reported.
This would be the fourth such ceremony when the 1971 foreign friends will be acknowledged with the honour. The process was launched after the incumbent government assumed office following the December 2008 general elections.
On October 20, the country had honoured 61 foreign friends mostly from India for their remarkable "support and contributions" during the nine months of Liberation War.
Nearly 144 people have been already conferred with 'Bangladesh Liberation War Honour' or 'Friends of Liberation War Honour'.
Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was the first "foreign friend" to be conferred with the Bangladesh Liberation War Honour and her daughter-in-law and Congress president Sonia Gandhi received the honour on her behalf last year at a special ceremony.