Pakistan, Bangladesh have shared history, commonality of faith & culture


Reception marks 52nd Independence Day of Bangladesh

Zubair Qureshi

Pakistan and Bangladesh enjoy cordial relations based on mutual respect, desire for peace, prosperity and regional stability. These views were expressed by Minister for Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony Senator Talha Muhammad while addressing as chief guest the reception marking 52nd Anniversary of the Independence and the National Day of Bangladesh.

High Commissioner Ruhul Alam Siddique had hosted the reception that was also attended by Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Shahzain Bugti, Minister for Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety Shazia Marri, Convener Parliamentary Friendship Group for Bangladesh Senator Taj Haider, heads of missions of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, diplomats, UN representative, parliamentarians, members of civil society and a large number of Bangladesh nationals.

Talha Mahmood praised the strong bond between Bangladesh and Pakistan and highlighted the importance of interfaith harmony in promoting peace and stability. He also congratulated the people and the government of Bangladesh on their 52nd Independence Day.

High Commissioner Ruhul Amin while addressing on the occasion highlighted his country’s growing economy, industrial development, contributions to UN’s peace-keeping operations, security, and stability.

While taking the guests down the history of his country, the high commissioner said in the early hours of 26 March 1971, the greatest Bengali of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared Independence of a new nation called Bangladesh.

Today, I recall him with great reverence and profound respect and also take this opportunity to pay tribute to the valiant freedom fighters who made supreme sacrifices by embracing martyrdom in the Great War of Liberation in 1971, said the high commissioner. I also humbly recall all Bengali men and women who made huge sacrifices and endured endless miseries during the war.

“This year, though we are celebrating the 52nd Anniversary of the Independence of Bangladesh, the last couple of years were especially significant as we celebrated three major occasions: 100th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman; Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh and Confirmation of Bangladesh’s graduation from a least developed country to a developing country,” noted the high commissioner with joy.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office for five years in 1996 and re-embarked on the journey of Bangladesh towards development. She again became the Prime Minister in 2009, and is presently serving the fourth term.

The high commissioner was of the view that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has achieved remarkable progress in socio-economic sectors and it has been transformed into one of the vibrant economies of the world. Bangladesh is now a knowledge-based middle income country. During the last 50 years, per capita income has increased 30 times from merely 94 US Dollars in 1972 to 2824 US Dollars, foreign currency reserves rose to 35 billion US dollars from almost zero in 1972 and life expectancy increased to 72 years from 47 years after independence. During the last 14 years, Bangladesh has registered around 7 percent GDP growth.

Bangladesh and Pakistan have unique relations based on shared history and commonality of faith and culture, said the high commissioner adding the growing bilateral trade between the two countries had grown to 45 percent during the last fiscal year which shows how strongly both the countries are linked in bilateral business. He also expressed hope that it would continue in future.