PM to Receive Bangla Honour for Vajpayee

Published: 26th May 2015 06:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th May 2015 06:02 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will receive ‘Friends of Bangladesh Liberation War’ Award, which had  earlier been conferred on former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee, during his visit to Dhaka.

Modi is set to visit Dhaka in the first week of June, fresh from the success of navigating the passage of the Land Border Agreement constitutional amendment in both Houses of Parliament, without a single negative vote. The visit will, therefore, be a platform for  Bangladesh government to hand over second highest state honour, ‘Bangladesh Muktijhuddha Sammanana’ for Vajpayee to PM Modi.

“It will also be only speaking opportunity for the PM, though the final schedule is still being worked out,” said a diplomatic source.

Dhaka had wanted to hand over the award to Vajpayee personally, when one of their senior ministers was here. “But, we were always told that he is unwell for such a function,” he said.  The institution of Liberation War Awards for foreign nationals was part of the political policy of the Awami League Government to remain identified with the 1971 movement, in contrast to the main Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party. So far, 338 foreign nations have been honoured by Bangladesh for their contribution to the Liberation war, out of which 226 have been from India. President Pranab Mukherjee was conferred the honour during his visit in 2013. The highest award, Bangladesh Freedom Honour has only been conferred on former Indian PM Indira Gandhi and it was received by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in 2011.

Incidentally, Bangladesh Cabinet on Monday formally gave its nod to the Land Boundary Pact, which will mean that the final step before the implementation will take place during the PM’s visit.


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