Dhaka, June 7 (IANS): Former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was on Sunday conferred the Bangladesh Liberation War award for his contribution to the South Asian nation’s fight for liberation from Pakistan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Bangladesh, received the award on behalf of Vajpayee from President Mohammad Abdul Hamid at a function in Dhaka.
“An inspiration for so many people like me, Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee is being honoured by Bangladesh,” Modi said in a speech on the occasion.
“If Atalji’s health permitted and he was present here, this occasion would be very different,” Modi said.
“Every Indian wanted the dream of an independent Bangladesh to be realised,” he added.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina highlighted Vajpayee’s contribution to her country’s Liberation War.
“As a politician, Shri Vajpayee’s unstinting support to Bangladesh played an important role in mobilising support for our cause,” she said.
Before Vajpayee, former PM Indira Gandhi had received this award posthumously. Congress President Sonia Gandhi had received it on her behalf in 2012.