‘A true friend’: Bangladesh Prez, PM condole Pranab Mukherjee’s demise

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DHAKA: Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday extended their condolences over the demise of former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, calling him as a “true friend” of Bangladesh and “guardian” to Hasina and her kin.

Mukherjee died in Delhi on Monday evening following a 21-day battle with multiple ailments. He was 84. The President said: “Pranab Mukherjee was a true friend of Bangladesh. His contribution to the country’s 1971 Liberation War accelerated our victory.” “Pranab Mukherjee played an important role in shaping global public opinion in Bangladesh’s favour during the Liberation War. His demise is an irreparable loss to the politics of this subcontinent.”

Recounting her memories of Mukherjee, whom she described as a “guardian”, Sheikh Hasina said: “Pranab Mukherjee always supported us while we were in India after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He always asked about my family and stood beside us whenever my younger sister Sheikh Rehana and I needed anything.”

“He kept encouraging and supporting us even after we returned to the country. He was our guardian and a family friend. He gave us courage to confront any crisis,” said Hasina. With his passing, India has lost a “wise and patriotic” leader while Bangladesh has lost a friend, said the Prime Minister.

“He will live on as a shining star in the politics of the subcontinent.” The President and the Premier prayed for Mukherjee’s departed soul and expressed their deep sympathies to the bereaved family.

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