Bangladesh will always remember the contribution of Pranab Mukherjee to the Liberation War of 1971, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in a message on Monday.
Reactions to the death of Pranab Mukherjee
She was joined by the President of Nepal, K.P. Sharma Oli, and the President of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, among others who remembered the former President of India for his contribution in strengthening India’s diplomatic ties.
“During my years in exile spent in India during the aftermath of the assassination of Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Pranab Mukherjee always helped us. He looked after me and my younger sister Rehana in those difficult days and stood by us. He continued to encourage me and assisted me after I returned to Bangladesh,” Ms. Hasina said.
In pictures | Pranab Mukherjee (1935-2020)
Ms. Hasina described Mr. Mukherjee as a “true Indian patriot” and said that her people would “respectfully remember” the contribution of Mr. Mukherjee to the War of Liberation of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has declared September 2 as a day of national mourning in honour of Mr. Mukherjee. The national flag will fly at half mast on that day
It had conferred the state honour, Muktijuddho Sammanona, in March 2013 during Mr. Mukherjee’s visit to the country.
Pranab Mukherjee obituary | The end of a long walk
“He was our guardian and a family friend,” Ms. Hasina added.
The leadership of Nepal also paid rich tributes to Mr. Mukherjee, with Prime Minister Oli remembering his contributions to “strengthening Nepal-India relations in different capacities of his public life”.
“In his demise, Nepal has lost a great friend,” Mr. Oli said.
Opposition Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba said Mr. Mukherjee was a “visionary leader and a true friend of Nepal”. He added: “His legacy as a wise politician will live on.”
President Solih of the Maldives described the late Mr. Mukherjee as a “public servant of the highest caliber”. “His passing is a tremendous loss not only to India but the entire South Asian region,” Mr. Solih said.
Ambassador of China Sun Weidong expressed condolences and said, “He has made contributions to the development of China-India relations which we will always cherish.”
Mr. Mukherjee had during his tenure as President of India hosted President Xi Jinping of China in 2014 and several others such as President Barack Obama of the U.S. and President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
“President Mukherjee offered lot of informal guidance to the Ministry of External Affairs during his tenure. He had warm ties with the top leaders in the neighbourhood and he promptly approved the idea of the mini-SAARC summit that was held on the sidelines of the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26 May 2014,” said India’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Venu Rajamony, who served as President Mukherjee’s Press Secretary.