Bangladesh celebrates Independence Day

Dhaka: Bangladesh will celebrate its 45th Independence Day on Saturday, the day it emerged as a sovereign nation, breaking the shackles of suppression of Pakistan.

Bengalis will pay tribute to the martyrs of the Liberation War, reported.

Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will place wreaths at National Memorial in Savar as a mark of respect to the martyrs.

Hamid, greeting Bengalis living in the country and abroad, said: "Nevertheless, we have to go a long way for achieving the desired goals of independence.

"Communal harmony is our tradition. The people of our country do not support any form of violence including militancy and terrorism."

"Therefore, we have to maintain patience and self-restraint and show respect to others' opinion in a democratic pluralism," Hamid said.

Hasina, in her message, paid homage to the three million martyrs and 200,000 women who were violated during the war.

"The independence earned through supreme sacrifices of millions of people is the greatest achievement of Bangali nation," said Hasina.

"To ensure that this achievement remains meaningful, all should know the history of our great Liberation War and retain the spirit of independence. The history should be passed down from generation to generation," she said.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has also extended greetings and felicitations to the government and people of Bangladesh on its National Day.

In a message to his Bangladesh counterpart Hamid, Mukherjee on Friday said: "On behalf of the government, the people of India and on my own behalf, it gives me immense pleasure to extend warm felicitations and best wishes to you and to the people of Bangladesh on the occasion of your National Day."

"The bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh have grown tremendously over the past few years. I am confident that this relationship between our two countries will continue to expand and that our interaction and cooperation will scale new heights," Mukherjee said.

The Pakistan Army swooped down on Bengalis on the night of March 25, 1971 to subjugate their struggle for freedom.

They carried out genocide in the first hours of that night in Dhaka, describing the attack as 'Operation Searchlight'.

Bengalis put up a valiant resistance and got freedom on December 16 after nine months of Liberation War.