Sheikh Hasina recalls Indian Army's contribution in 1971 war

Bangladesh Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said the country believes in peaceful co-existence and friendly relations with India and its neighbours.

Making the remarks to the visiting Indian Army Chief General V.K. Singh, who called on her on Monday, Ms. Hasina stressed the importance of cooperation among the regional countries.

Referring to Gen. Singh's visit to Bangladesh, she also observed such visits would help strengthen bilateral ties.

Ms. Hasina recalled with deep gratitude the active cooperation of the Indian government, people and military during the country's 1971 Liberation War. She remembered in particular the sacrifice made by the Indian Army.

Gen. Singh showed Ms. Hasina some rare photographs taken during the late Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's India visit, and events related to the Liberation War. Indian High Commissioner Rajeet Mitter, principal staff officer Lt. General Abdul Wadud and other senior army officers were present.

Earlier, Gen. Singh called on Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman, who recalled India's contribution in the 1971 war. Mr. Rahman also thanked Gen. Singh for his personal contribution during it.

Commissioned into the Rajput Regiment in 1971, Gen. Singh is one of the Indian veterans who took part in the war, and was part of the operations unit.

Gen. Singh also paid a courtesy call on his counterpart Chief of Army Staff General M. Abdul Mubeen. They discussed bilateral issues, an Inter Services Public Relations release said.

Later, Gen. Singh called on principal staff officer Lieutenant General Abdul Wadud.

The Army chief earlier visited Shikha Anirban (eternal flame) at Dhaka Cantonment and paid homage to the martyrs of the 1971 war.

‘Unusual' honour

Gen. Singh arrived here along with his wife Bharati Singh on Sunday on a five-day visit. He took the salute at the passing-out ceremony of the Bangladesh Military Academy on Tuesday.

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party termed as “unusual” the invitation to the Indian Army chief to take the salute at the ceremony and termed it as “politically motivated.” However, a Bangladesh Army spokesman said: “This is an honour the Bangladesh Army is offering to the visiting Indian Army chief, who also fought for our Independence, while India showed the same gesture to the former Bangladesh Army chief, General Mustafizur Rahman, 13 years ago.”

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