President M Abdul Hamid yesterday urged all concerned to perform their respective responsibilities with honesty, devotion and sincerely to make the hard-earned independence meaningful and reach its benefits at people's doorsteps, as he addressed a 'Victory Day's discussion in the capital.
"Everyone must perform their respective responsibilities with honesty, dedication and sincerity to reach the benefits of independence at people's doorsteps," the president said, addressing the discussion "Mohabijoyer Mohanayok (Great Hero of Great Victory" celebrating Bangladesh Victory's Golden Jubilee at the Parliament Complex yesterday evening.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the discussion at the South Plaza of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban as part of celebrating two historic mega events - birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and golden jubilee of Bangladesh independence.
The head of the state urged everyone involved in the personal, family, social, political and state affairs to prove their respective responsibilities.
President Hamid also put emphasis on establishing principles-ethics and ideals in all strata of life and simultaneously promoting a competent leadership.
Visiting President of India Ram Nath Kovind, Bangabandhu's younger daughter Sheikh Rehana, Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque and Chief Coordinator of National Implementation Committee Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, among others, also spoke.
Describing independence as the country's greatest achievement, the president said, "But this independence did not come suddenly... There was a thousand-year-long history of overcoming exploitation, deprivation and torture behind it as there was no independent and sovereign nation-state for the Bangla-speaking areas earlier."
He respectfully recalled the contribution of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the greatest Bangali of all time, in leading the exploited people towards the right direction, resulting in the emergence of an independent state in the world map.
Referring to Bangabandhu's charismatic and uncompromising leadership quality, the President said he (Bangabandhu) took the lessons of politics from the masses and understood the people's language, knew their demands as well as needs and always stood by them.
Following Bangabandhu's foreign policy -"Friendship to all and malice towards none" - he said, Bangladesh is successfully advancing in the diplomatic arena by developing bilateral and multilateral ties.
Noting that Bangladesh has already graduated from a least developed country to a developing country, Hamid said, "Bangladesh is now a role model of development in the international arena under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina."
On Covid-19 outbreak and its subsequent effects, the president said the pandemic had temporarily hampered the country's development and progress but could not stop it.
"Due to the timely and far-sighted steps taken by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Covid-19 infection is now under control in Bangladesh and the death rate is close to zero," he noted.
The president mentioned that PM Hasina has set a unique example in the history of world humanity by sheltering more than 11 lakh Rohingyas displaced from Myanmar, being the worst victims of torture.
"Bangladesh believes in peaceful co-existence of all, irrespective of race, religion and caste," Abdul Hamid added.
The head of the state hoped that the world community, including India, would play an effective role in resolving the Rohingya issue.
"Under the leadership of Bangabandhu, we have attained freedom and later under the leadership of his worthy daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the country is today materializing his dream of building a 'Sonar Bangla'," Hamid added.
Welcoming the Indian president in Dhaka, Abdul Hamid said, "India is always regarded as a close neighbour and faithful friend of Bangladesh. Bangladesh always remembers with deep gratitude the indomitable moral and material support given by the Indian political leaders and people in the 1971 War of Liberation."
The president paid deep respects to all martyrs of the Indian Armed Forces who had to embrace death during the Bangladesh War of Liberation.
He recalled the video message of Shri Narendra Modi at the inaugural function of 'Mujib Borsho' on March 17, 2020 and later expressed his gratitude for being physically present at the celebrations of Mujib Year and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh's independence on March 26 this year.
Referring to the existing excellent relations with India, the president said relations between the two countries, which started in 1971 during the War of Liberation, have in the meantime reached a new height.
President Hamid expressed the hope that the visit of the president of India here would further strengthen the friendly relations between the two neighboring countries in the days to come.