India, Bangladesh together defeated 'oppressive forces' in 1971: PM

India, Bangladesh together defeated 'oppressive forces' in 1971: PM

New Delhi, Dec 16 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday led the nation in recalling the great valour and sacrifices by Indian armed forces and the Mukti Bahini to defeat "oppressive forces" in East Pakistan in 1971 leading to its emergence as an independent Bangladesh.

Citing the presence of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind in Dhaka to attend the 50th Victory Day celebrations as Guest of Honour is of special significance to every Indian, Modi tweeted.

In Dhaka, President Kovind attended a Victory Day parade at the National Parade Ground. A 122-member tri-services contingent from India also took part in the event.

“On the 50th Vijay Diwas, I recall the great valour and sacrifice by the Muktijoddhas, Biranganas and brave hearts of the Indian Armed Forces. Together, we fought and defeated oppressive forces. “(The President’s) presence in Dhaka is of special significance to every Indian,” he added.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also saluted the courage and supreme sacrifice made by the Indian Army and tweeted: "We are proud of our armed forces and their achievements.

"On the occasion of ‘Swarnim Vijay Diwas’, we remember the courage and sacrifice of our armed forces during the 1971 war. The 1971 war is the golden chapter in India’s military history."

He shared a picture of the "Instrument of Surrender" signed by the Pakistan Army with a remark: "This day, that year!"

Home Minister Amit Shah said: "I bow to the brave soldiers on the golden jubilee of 'Vijay Diwas', a symbol of amazing courage and valour of Indian soldiers. On this day in 1971, the Indian Army added a golden chapter in the history of the tradition of preserving human values by defeating the enemies.

"External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar congratulated his Bangladeshi counterpart Dr A.K. Abdul Momen and the people of Bangladesh.

He said the valiant fight of the people of Bangladesh led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman against "oppression and genocide" will always inspire the people of both countries.“Visit of Rashtrapatiji reflects our deep friendship and special bonds forged through our shared sacrifices,” he tweeted.

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said earlier: "India stood shoulder to shoulder with the people of Bangladesh during their struggle. Millions of Bangladeshis found shelter and refuge in India. We recognized Bangladesh as an independent country, the second in the world to do so, before it became free from oppression.

"It was an article of faith for us and a statement of our support for the righteousness of Bangladesh's cause. Indian armed forces joined Bangladeshis in their struggle and 1,660 of our gallant men in uniform paid the ultimate price for the freedom of Bangladesh."

December 16 is observed to commemorate India's victory in the 1971 war against Pakistan and the Liberation of Bangladesh. Modi earlier paid homage to the fallen soldiers at a ceremony at the National War Memorial on Thursday.

UNI RN MR

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