Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have expressed sorrow over the demise of former president Pranab Mukherjee, describing him as a "true friend" and recalling his “outstanding and unforgettable” contributions to the country's 1971 Liberation War.
Mukherjee, a veteran politician, died on Monday evening following a 21-day battle with multiple ailments. He was 84.
"His demise has caused an irreparable loss to the political arena of the sub-continent," Hamid said, describing Mukherjee as a "real and sincere friend" of Bangladesh.
He said Mukherjee played a crucial role in mobilising international support for Bangladesh's 1971 independence which "quickened our victory".
Hasina also called Mukherjee a “true friend” of Bangladesh and a guardian-like figure to her family.
“The news of Mr Pranab Mukherjee's demise deeply saddened her . . . she became emotional and nostalgic as she reminisced her many memories with him,” state-run BSS reported quoting the premier's press secretary Ihsanul Karim.
Hasina, she said, also recalled Mukherjee's “outstanding and unforgettable” contributions to the country's 1971 Liberation War.
“I always recall with profound respect his invaluable contributions to our Liberation War,” she said.
Hasina said Mukherjee always extended her cooperation to her family while they were in exile in India after the assassination of her father and Bangladesh's founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975 along with most of his family members.
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina | Wikimedia Commons