Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina confers ‘Friends of Liberation War’ honour on Edward M Kennedy

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'Friends of Liberation War'

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina posthumously awarded the prestigious 'Friends of Liberation War' honour to former US Senator Edward M Kennedy in Dhaka on 31 October for his contribution to the liberation of Bangladesh.

Important facts

  • The honour was handed over to his son Edward M. Ted Kennedy Jr.

  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina remembered with gratitude the contribution of Edward Kennedy Sr.

  • He said Kennedy Sr. took a bold step against the genocide committed by Pakistan on innocent Bengali people despite the role of the US government during the 1971 Liberation War.

  • She said Kennedy Sr. had worked hard to suspend military and economic aid to Pakistan until the end of the war.

Liberation War of 1971 

  • In the 1950s, Pakistan was ruled by a military-bureaucratic rule that ruled the entire country (East and West Pakistan) in an undemocratic manner.

  • The Bengalites had no political representation in this system of governance.

  • This dominance of West Pakistan was challenged by the Bengalis during the general elections of 1970.

  • In the general election of 1970, the Awami League of East Pakistan's Sheikh Mujibur Rahman got a clear majority.

  • West Pakistan was not ready for any leader of East Pakistan to rule the country.

  • On March 26, 1971, West Pakistan launched Operation Searchlight in East Pakistan.

  • As a result, lakhs of Bangladeshis had to take refuge in India.

  • The Pakistani army had to face defeat due to the bravery of the 'Muktiwahini Sena' and Indian soldiers who fought for the independence of Bangladesh.

  • On 6 December 1971, a new nation Bangladesh was born out of 13 days of war with the intervention of India.

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