Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (31 August 2020) expressed deep shock and sorrow at former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s death, calling him a “true friend” of Bangladesh and guardian like figure to her family.
“The news of Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s demise deeply saddened her . . . she became emotional and nostalgic as she reminisced her many memories with him,” PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told.
Sheikh Hasina, he said, also described Mukherjee as Bangladesh’s “true friend” and recalled his “outstanding and unforgettable” contributions to the country’s 1971 Liberation War as a politician and real well-wisher.
“I always recall with profound respect his invaluable contributions to our Liberation War,” she said, also terming him as a celebrated politician of the sub-continent.
The premier said Mukherjee always extended his cooperation to her family while they were in exile in India following the August 15, 1975 killing of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“In such a bad time Pranab Mukherjee always enquired about my family and stood beside us in any of our necessity,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said she also drew Mukherjee’s cooperation and encouragement even after her return to Bangladesh.
“He (Pranab Mukherjee) is our guardian and family friend and he always provided courage to us in any crisis,” she said.
The prime minister said with Mukherjee’s demise India lost a learned and patriotic leader, while Bangladesh lost a nearest person.
“He (Pranab Mukherjee) will remain alive as a glittering star in the politics of the subcontinent,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina prayed for the salvation of the departed soul and conveyed profound sympathy to the bereaved family members.