Bangladesh govt to honour D P Dhar

Dhaka: Over 40 years after he played a significant role in Bangladesh`s independence, Indian politician-diplomat D P Dhar is being honoured posthumously by the Bangladesh government in recognition of his contribution.

The honours would be bestowed by Bangladesh President Zilur Rahman at a special function on March 26 here. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will felicitate the recipients the next day.

The Bangladesh government has conveyed this to D P Dhar`s son Vijay Dhar who will be travelling here to receive the honour. "… The government of Bangladesh has decided to formally recognise your father, late D P Dhar`s contribution and to express gratitude on behalf of the people of Bangladesh," said a letter written by Foreign Minister Dipu Moni to Vijay Dhar.

She informed Vijay Dhar that his father had been selected for the honour by the National Committee to Honour Foreign Friends of the Bangladesh Liberation War of which she is the Convenor.

The Committee has been especially constituted by the Bangladesh government to honour "outstanding friends of Bangladesh who participated in, or contributed to, the process of our Liberation War", Moni pointed out.

D P Dhar was the Chairman of Policy Planning in the Indian External Affairs Ministry and played a crucial role in the 1971 war during which Bangladesh was created out of Pakistan.

He passed away on June 12, 1975 at the age of 56. "The National Committee has particularly taken note of the support extended by our foreign friends to the Bangladesh cause and also the moral and material support to our people during the War. We are mindful that your father`s support came at a critical time when we stood up against barbaric atrocities and the worst ever genocide in world history and contributed to the eventful emergence of sovereign Bangladesh," the letter said.

Moni went on to add: "we are cognisant of the fact that our decision to formally recognise your father`s contribution has come 40 years since our achieving independence but that omission today is set right forever for our posterity and for the world."

D P Dhar is being honoured along with P N Haksar, a former close aide to then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The then Eastern Commander of Indian Army Lt Gen J F R Jacob is also being honoured.