The foreign ministry on Thursday opened Genocide Corner at the Foreign Service Academy at Bailey Road in the capital in remembrance of martyrs of 1971 War of Independence.
The ministry also observed Foreign Service Day on the day in commemoration of 18th April 1971. On this day in 1971, Bangladeshi diplomats and staff stationed in Kolkata defied the oppressive and occupation regime of Pakistan, took over then Deputy Pakistan High Commissioner’s Office and hoisted the Bangladesh national flag atop and thus established the first Bangladesh Mission abroad.
A group of Bangladesh diplomats and officials led by deputy high commissioner Md Hosen Ali and third secretary Anwarul Karim Chowdhury declared the allegiance on 18 April to the Bangladesh government, which was established on April 17, 1971 in Mujib Nagar of Meherpur inside the then free East Pakistan.
The other officers who also defected in Kolkata on the day were third secretary Kazi Nazrul Islam and assistant press attaché Maksud Ali.
Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen paid honour to three of the Bangladesh diplomats in absentia with handing over crest to their relatives and
Two other diplomats second secretary KM Shehabuddin and assistant press attaché Amzadul Haq of then Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, who also defected and declared their allegiance to Bangladesh on April 6, 1971, Momen said.
AH Mahmood Ali, then vice consul at the Pakistan consulate in New York resigned from the Pakistan foreign service and declared his allegiance to Bangladesh on April 16, 1971, the minister said.
Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on June 6, 1971 and another 22 diplomats in Washington DC of the US on August 1, 1971 expressed their allegiance to Bangladesh, he said.
Foreign Service Academy is situated at 22 Bailey Road in a building, built in 1960, which was made Ganabhaban from where Bangladesh’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman discharged his duties for two years after independence on December 16, 1971, according to Momen.
Muhith, who was later made finance minister, Awami League leader Amir Hossain Amu, education minister Dipu Moni, local and foreign diplomats were also present at the function.
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