On the occasion of Bangladesh's Armed Forces Day, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday visited the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi and paid tribute to 1971 Liberation War heroes.
Record keepers said it was perhaps the first time since Indian independence that a defence minister visited a country’s mission in Delhi to pay tribute to that country’s armed forces.
"On behalf of the Armed Forces of India and the Government of India, I congratulate the Armed Forces of Bangladesh on the 50th anniversary and wish them the very best in their endeavour towards peace and security," he said.
The Indian Minister said this year is of "extraordinary significance" for Bangladesh-India relations, as the two countries commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the Liberation of Bangladesh, the fifty years of India-Bangladesh diplomatic ties and the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangaandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
"In this momentous time, I salute the valiant struggle of the Muktibahini in the Muktijuddha – War of Liberation - in 1971. Spirit of Muktijuddha forms the core of today’s Armed Forces of Bangladesh," he said.
The Indian Minister also paid tribute to the sacrifices made by the brave soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces, who stood steadfast with their Bangladeshi brothers and sisters during the epic War of Liberation of Bangladesh.
"On this day, I also remember the extraordinary leadership in India, which rose to the occasion against all odds and limitations in 1971, in support of a struggling nation fighting against the injustice and unspeakable atrocities perpetrated by the Pakistani Army."