Bangladesh is celebrating Victory Day today. It marks the day the country attained liberation from Pakistan and became an independent nation in 1971 under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid tributes to the martyrs of the Liberation War by placing wreaths at the National Mausoleum in Savar as the day broke on.
Speaker of the Parliament, the Chief Justice, leaders of several political parties and other dignitaries also laid wreaths at the National Memorial.
A Victory Day Parade by the armed forces was held at the National Parade Square where President Abdul Hamid took the salute as the Chief Guest. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was also present on the occasion. For the first time, a 30-member Indian Army band participated in Victory Day Parade in Dhaka.
On this day in 1971, the commander of the Pakistani forces in Bangladesh, General AAK Niazi along with more than 90,000 soldiers surrendered before the Indian Army and Muktibahini in Dhaka, heralding the birth of a new nation – Bangladesh.
The victory over the Pakistan army was achieved after a nine-month-long Liberation War carried by the people of Bangladesh and supported by the Indian Armed Forces. Close to three million people of Bangladesh and nearly 2,000 Indian soldiers lost their lives during the War.
AIR correspondent reports, 16th December marks a historic occasion not only for Bangladesh but for India and the entire world. The day changed the history and geography of South Asia and cemented the deep ties of two countries which share Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and innumerable other great personalities as revered icons.
On this day, a new nation was born, a hope was reaffirmed for the mankind that howsoever tyrannical and powerful the enemy, a people united can achieve their dream. It is a day to pay homage to the struggle and sacrifice of the people of Bangladesh as also of Indian armed forces to free a nation from oppression and violence.