Border Security Force celebrated Vijay Diwas and 50 years of Liberation of Bangladesh at a commemorative event held at Sushma Swaraj Bhawan, New Delhi yesterday. Union Minister of External Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar attended the function as the Chief Guest. Also present at the event were His Excellency Md Nurul Islam, Deputy High Commissioner, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for External Affairs, High Commission of Bangladesh, serving and retired Directors General of CAPFs and senior officials of MEA, MHA and other government institutions.
Mukti Yodhas from Bangladesh along with BSF War Veterans who had participated in the 1971 Liberation War recounted their experiences, highlighting the key moments during the eventful developments, close coordination and camaraderie with which the freedom fighters were trained and operated during the Liberation War. Cultural troupes from Bangladesh and India performed themes of Liberation War, with their talented demonstration evoking memories of crucial moments during the historic struggle as well as the various culturally significant symbolisms that unite both nations.
Chief Guest and Union Minister of External Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar, while extending warm wishes on the occasion of ‘Vijay Diwas’, recalled the sacrifices of the freedom fighters, and millions of men and women who fought an epic struggle for Liberation of Bangladesh under the inspiring leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Hon’ble Chief Guest recounted the stellar role that BSF units played in arming, training and supporting the Mukti Bahini, especially in guerrilla war techniques. He also emphasized on the progressive nature of bilateral relationship between India and Bangladesh which has been forged in the historic socio-cultural and linguistic ties between the peoples of both nations. Hon’ble Union Minister also paid homage to the BSF personnel who sacrificed their lives during the Liberation War.
Union Minister stressed upon the emphasis placed by India on the mutual partnership and coordination with Bangladesh, which is evident in expansion of bilateral relationship in all dimensions, ranging from security, trade, transport and connectivity, culture, people to people ties, energy, joint development of shared resources and defence. He also lauded the efforts being made by both border guarding forces of both nations, the Border Security Force and Border Guard Bangladesh in promoting bilateral bonhomie between both countries with the active involvement and support of all stakeholders, enabling to develop a positive environment of strategic partnership and mutual growth.
His Excellency Md Nurul Islam, Deputy High Commissioner, High Commission of Bangladesh extolled the relationship between India and Bangladesh as one anchored in shared history and culture. He also elucidated on the various measures initiated by both border guarding forces to ensure, as well as the Golden Chapter of relationships that have been initiated between both nations.
Pankaj Kumar Singh, DG BSF recounted some of the historic moments during the Liberation War of Bangladesh and the role played by BSF well before the actual hostilities erupted. DG BSF applauded the grim determination, dedication and heroism of the Bengali freedom fighters, the Mukti Vahini, aided by the Indian security forces including the BSF, which was a stellar example of how the people rose against tyranny and deprivation, and ensured their independence despite all odds. DG BSF also made note of the acts of heroism, sacrifice and personal deeds of valour during the Liberation War that inspire a shared purpose for both India and Bangladesh to forge ahead together in multi-dimensional areas of cooperation and strategic partnership.
Lt Col (Retd) Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir, Bir Protik, Swadhinata Padak, Padma Shri, a decorated Mukti Yodha, and Sh Samir Mitra, DIG (Retd) BSF and a 1971 Liberation War Veteran recounted their experiences to an enthralled audience about some of the crucial moments during the Liberation War.
The BSF is privileged to have been the first point of contact for the freedom fighters, thereafter playing a significant role in both training the Mukti Vahini, as well as participating in the numerous battles during the entire period of the Liberation War that culminated in the eventual surrender Pakistani forces this very day 50 years ago.
As India and Bangladesh forge ahead in the common interests of security, peace, prosperity and socio-economic development, both nations have been able to initiate new chapters of mutual cooperation. Border guarding forces of both countries, BSF and BGB, have initiated a number of activities for enhancing mutual trust in the form of Confidence Building Measures, promoting a sense of security amongst the border population, engaging with members of civil society to help in effective management of the border with an intention to improve border management and strengthen the bonds of friendship, coordination and trust between BSF and BGB. Bilateral talks, joint operational activities and collaborative events like the Maitri Cycle Rally and Maitri Football Matches have also been instrumental in promoting our mutual partnership.
Border Security Force will endeavour to build upon the solid foundation of mutual trust and cooperation with Border Guard Bangladesh, and we look forward to achieving greater heights in bilateral relationship.
( Inputs from Pratyusha Mukherjee)