DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh on Thursday marked 50 years of victory over Pakistan in a bloody war for independence by hosting a military parade with the Indian president as a guest of honor.
On Dec. 16, 1971, Pakistani soldiers surrendered to a joint India-Bangladesh force, formally making Bangladesh a new nation under the leadership of independence leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The war began on March 26, and continued for nine months before victory was declared in December, aided by India under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Thursday’s celebrations were attended by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, who was on a two-day visit to the Muslim-majority country.
After arriving on Wednesday, Kovind held discussions with Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid in Dhaka.
Arindam Bagchi, a spokesman for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, said the two leaders discussed issues of interest, including connectivity and trade, cooperation in fight against COVID-19 and development partnerships.
Hasina and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen also received Kovind.
“In 10 years, we will see very changed and different countries. We are looking at green technologies, renewables in this era of climate change to create employment, IT and digital platforms, startups,” said Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.