President Ram Nath Kovind, who is on his maiden State Visit to neighbouring Bangladesh, will participate in 50th Victory Day celebrations in Dhaka on Thursday. The President has been invited to the celebration as “guest of honour” by Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid.
Bangladesh is observing the golden jubilee celebrations of its independence from Pakistan in 1971. Notably, President Kovind is the only foreign head of state invited to join the celebrations which also coincides with birth centenary celebrations of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of Dhaka-New Delhi ties.
President Kovind began his three-day visit to Bangladesh on Wednesday. This is the first foreign visit of President Kovind since the Covid-19 outbreak.
As part of the celebration, President Kovind is also scheduled to inaugurate the renovated Sri Ramna Kali Mandir, which was completely destroyed by Pakistani forces during Operation Searchlight in 1971, foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla informed on Wednesday.
A 122-member tri-services contingent of the Indian Armed Forces will participate in this parade, he also informed.
President Kovind is on a three-day visit to the neighbouring country. He arrived in the capital city Dhaka on Wednesday and was received by Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and First Lady Rashida Hamid.
On Wednesday, President Kovind visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum and paid his respects to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He also paid tributes at the National Martyrs’ Memorial to those who sacrificed their lives in the Liberation War of Bangladesh.
He also held delegation-level talks with his counterpart which was followed by a banquet. During bilateral talks, President Kovind assured the top leadership that Bangladesh has a “special place” in India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. He also underlined that the bilateral relationship based on sovereignty, equality, trust and understanding is mature enough to handle the “most complex of problems”.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on President Kovind and the two leaders discussed several issues of mutual interest and bilateral cooperation.
Meanwhile, in a reflection of close ties, India will also host a number of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1971 India-Pakistan war that led to the liberation of Bangladesh. President Kovind is scheduled to depart for Delhi on December 17.
(With agency inputs)