DHAKA - President Md. Abdul Hamid today launched a nationwide plantation drive coinciding with the Genocide Day and drumming up Bangladesh campaign seeking global recognition of the 1971 genocide committed by Pakistani troops.
The president planted 25 saplings at the presidential palace premises and expected the "Shahid Smrity Tree Plantation" campaign would generate a strong anti-genocide spirit at home and abroad alongside reminding all about the genocide committed by Pakistani troops in 1971.
The president urged all to intensify the campaign to reach out the message of March 25 Genocide Day to pay tribute to the Liberation War martyrs.
He simultaneously sought global unity against terrorism and militancy urging people across the globe against the menace as it appeared to have transcended territorial or regional peripheries.
"Terrorism and militancy has become a concern of the entire world and so the people of the world people must raise united voice against them," he told the ceremony.
Bangladesh observes for the first time the day seeking global recognition of the 1971 genocide committed by Pakistani troops launching a sudden crackdown on the black night of March 25, 1071.
Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, a forum which spearheaded a prolonged campaign for 1971 war crimes trial, organised the programme with target to plant three million saplings as a mark of respect for three million martyrs of 1971 Liberation War.
Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla also joined the ceremony when he conveyed his country's willingness to obtain global recognition for the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh. The president said a massive aforestation was also crucial as the green cover could keep the environment healthy and negate the climate change affects.
He particularly urged freedom fighters, their family members, professionals, political parties, civil society figures, foreign diplomats and different socio-cultural organisations to gear up the campaign.
At the outset of the speech, the President paid tribute to Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who declared the Independence of the country on early hours of March 26 in 1971 immediately after the Pakistani army launched the crackdown.
Paying respect to martyrs who made the supreme sacrifices for the dearest motherland, he said "as a nation, we owe to them".
"The sacrifices of the martyrs could be repaid if a happy and prosperous Bangladesh could be built which was dreamt as well by the Father of the Nation," he said.
Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee president Shahriar Kabir, Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad chairman Major General (retd) Helal Morshed Khan and Shaheed Jaya Shyamoli Nasrin Chowdhury, among others, spoke on the occasion.