Bangladesh started the countdown of birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on Friday in Pakistan with due solemnity and festive fervour. Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad and Deputy High Commission in Karachi organised events at their respective chancery with the participation of all officers and officials of the mission as well as some guests.
This is significant as Bangabandhu was arrested by the Pakistani forces on March 26 in 1971 after he proclaimed independence in Bangladesh following a genocide carried out by the Pakistani military. Pakistan released him on January 8, 1972, 22 days after the independence, bowing down to international pressure. Bangabandhu returned home on January 10, 1972 amid rapturous welcome. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina picked the day for starting countdown to the birth centenary of Bangabandhu.
It began with placing of floral wreaths at the portrait of Father of the Nation by the High Commissioner and Deputy High Commissioner and other officers and officials of the High Commission. Messages from the President and Prime Minister, released on the occasion, were read out by the officials of the Mission.
High Commissioner in Islamabad Tarik Ahsan and Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi Noor-E Helal Saifur Rahman paid rich tribute to the memory of the Father of the Nation during the discussion. Ahsan said Bangladesh High Commission is holding this symbolic launch of countdown simultaneously with the start of countdown in Dhaka by the Prime Minister.
He remarked that the fact that the countdown began from the Home Coming Day of Father of the Nation was particularly significant for Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad “because, after Bangladesh victory in the War of Liberation, Bangabandhu came back home with honour from no other place than Islamabad.”
He expressed the hope that the present generation of Bangladesh, imbued with the ideals of Bangabandhu in Mujib Year, would materialize the Golden Bengal as dreamt of by Bangabandhu. After the discussion, a special prayer was offered seeking eternal peace of the souls of Bangabandhu and the martyrs of the Liberation War as well as for continued peace, progress and prosperity of Bangladesh.
A video documentary on the countdown and home coming day was screened.