East Pakistan had been the territory situated in the Bengal delta, with the following borders:
- North, West and East-India’s various territories
- South East-Myanmar/Burma
- South-Bay of Bengal
In the process of celebrating its ‘independence’ Bangladesh had been honouring a total of 338 foreign friends, mostly Indians, who had been supporting the nation’s liberation war against Pakistan, from 25th July 2011.
The foreign friends extended all possible help to Bangladesh refugees and freedom fighters providing them food, humanitarian relief, medical facilities, military training, access to global media, generation of public opinion and mobilisation of financial assistance.
The awards given by Bangladesh to the dignitaries from Pakistan, India, U.S.A.,U.K.,Japan,Egypt, Srilanka and Turkey were in two categories;
- Bangladesh Liberation War Honour’ and
- ‘Friends of Liberation War Honour.
- Mrs.Indira Gandhi-the former Prime Minister of India-
the First prominent foreign friend facilitated by Bangladesh-Awarded Bangladesh’s highest State honour-‘Bangladesh Freedom Honour’-the posthumous award had been received on behalf of Indira Gandhi by her daughter-in-law, Mrs.Sonia Gandhi
- Pranab Mukherjee-the President of India- received the award in February 2013
- Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed-the former President of India was conferred the award posthumously on 1st October 2013
- Gulzarilal Nanda was conferred the award posthumously on 1st October 2013
- V.K.Krishna Menon was conferred the award posthumously for his contributions to the independence of Bangladesh, as the Defence Minister of India- the award was received by Radha Anand Menon, the grand niece of V.K.Krishna Menon from Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, when Ms. Radha and her husband Anand Menon visited Dhaka to receive the award as guest of Bangladesh government.
The following is a list of some of the 44 Indians among the 60 foreigners honoured by Bangladesh inits final phase of facilitations:
- Air Vice Marshal Swaroop Krishna Kaul, – A Retired Indian Air Chief Marshal, led a fleet of aircraft which bombed the Government House in Dhaka, where Pakistani General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi was holding a meeting with his officials , on 15th December 1971. The surprise attack played an important role leading to the historic surrender of the Pakistani forces to the India-Bangladesh Joint Command on 16th December 1971.
- Maj. Gen. Lachhman Singh Lehl,
- Hindi Movie Actress- Waheeda Rehman,
- Zainal Abedin,
- Biswajit R. Chatterjee,
- Gouri Ghosh,
- Shakti Chattapadhaya,
- Annalal Dasgupta,
- Shaheed Capt. Manmohan Sagor Duggal,
- Asghar Ali,
- Snehangshu Kanta Acharyya,
- Somnath Hore,
- Maulana Syed Asad Madni,
- Suchitra Mitra,
- Kulwant Singh Pannu,
- Kishore Parekh,
- Subhash Mukhopadhaya,
- Samar Sen,
- Shaheed Subedar Mailkiat Singh,
- Sukhdev Singh Sanhu and
- Tapishwar Narain Raina.