Dhaka [Bangladesh], December 17 (ANI): Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the political leaders not to use religion as a political tool as the country was "liberated with the blood of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians".
"The people of Bangladesh are religious, not fanatics. Do not use religion as a political tool. Everyone has the right to practice their own religion. It (Bangladesh) is a country of communal harmony. It was liberated with the blood of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians," The Daily Star quoted Hasina as saying during her address to the nation from Gono Bhaban, on the occasion of Victory Day.
She asserted that Bangladesh belongs to everyone and reiterated that the country will move in the path of progress and development "while upholding religious values".
"This is the Bangladesh of Lalon, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Jibanananda Das. This is the Bangladesh of Shahjalal, Shah Paran, Shah Makhdum and Khanjahan Ali. This is Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Bangladesh; Bangladesh of sixteen and a half crore Bangalees. This country belongs to everyone," she said.
The Prime Minister said a section of the defeated forces in 1971 has been trying to distract devoted Muslims with false and fictitious statements and create unrest to take the country 50 years back, The Daily Star reported.
She further highlighted the ongoing development projects including Padma Bridge and initiatives taken to "spread Islamic studies and religious practices".
Vijay Diwas or Victory Day is celebrated every year on December 16 to mark India's triumph in liberating Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971.
In one of the fastest and shortest campaigns of military history, a new nation was born as a result of the swift campaign undertaken by the Indian Army.
After facing defeat in the 1971 war, the then Army Chief of Pakistan General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with his 93,000 troops, surrendered to allied forces, which also comprised Indian Army personnel. (ANI)