PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU (DEFENCE WING) GOVERNMENT OF INDIA 1971 War heroes visit Bangladesh New Delhi: 14 Chaitra 1929 03 Apr 2008 10 War Veteran of 1971 Indo-Pak War visited Bangladesh recently to cherish their 1971 War memories.
Consequent to a very highly fruitful visit of the Bangladesh (BD) Chief of Army to India in Feb 08, a further fillip has been given to our relations by our neighbour when 10 of War Veterans of 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War were invited by the Bangladesh Army to participate in their National and Independence Day celebrations from 25 Mar 08 to 31 Mar 08. The War Veterans who were invited along with their spouses were accorded very warm hospitality as honoured guests of BD Army.
Although, the contribution of Indian Defence Forces in the BD War of Liberation has always been appreciated by BD, this is the first time when an honour has been bestowed upon our War Veterans by inviting them for their Independence and National Day celebrations. Besides attending the Independence Day celebrations, the delegation was hosted for a Banquet by the Chief of Army, BD and visited the Army Museum, Mukti Joddha Jadugar, battle sites at Comilla Cantt, places of historical importance and a river cruise.
This is for the first time after the Liberation War of 1971 that BD is acknowledging the role and contribution of the Indian Army in liberating BD. The visit comes at a time when the army backed Caretaker Govt is preparing for elections by 31 Dec 2008 and their cleansing process by launching anti corruption drives against politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen.
The visit also came at a time when the country has battled two disastrous floods and cyclone SIDR and where Indian assistance was generous, forthcoming and very well received by the people of BD. The enthusiasm and keenness generated by the visit amongst all sections of the public and society of BD goes to show that the Armed Forces and the people of BD are ever appreciative of the Indian Armed Forces contribution for liberate their country in 1971 and all the scarifies made when both Indian Armed Forces and Mukti Bahini fought as comrades and shed blood together. The visit of the war veterans to BD has touched the hearts of millions of Mukti Jodhas, their families, the older and younger generation of the Armed Forces and the people of Bangladesh who have lost atleast one or more members of their families during the Liberation War of 1971.
Emotions ran high when the war veterans were invited by the Sector Commanders to a commemorative function held on 30 Mar 08.. The war veterans, led by Gen Jacob were, seen embracing Air Marshal Khondakar and other sector commanders with tears in their eyes. Thanks to the invitation by Gen Moeen U Ahmed, Chief of Army of BD, our War Veterans were reunited with their Comrades in Arms and they recounted with nostalgia their memories of the battles they fought together. The Mukti Jodhas declared that they were always welcome to Bangladesh as special friends.
The message of the war veterans was very clear and simple that they had come to join the celebrations of the Independence Day of BD, meet their old comrades-in-arms, the Mukti Jodhas, with whom they fought shoulder to shoulder and finally spread the message that they would like to see a prosperous Bangladesh for whose liberation they fought and shed their blood along with the Mukti Bahini. The BD media praised the Army Chief for inviting the war veterans.
The visit has further cemented the relationship between the two countries in a positive, healthy and conducive manner teams return to India today.