Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid earlier expressed sorrow over Mukherjee's demise, describing him as a "true friend" and recalling his outstanding and unforgettable contributions to the country''s 1971 Liberation War.
World leaders, including US President Donald Trump, have condoled the demise of former president Pranab Mukherjee, recalling the veteran politician’s significant contributions towards strengthening India’s bilateral ties and helping its rise as a global power.
Mukherjee died on Monday evening following a 21-day battle with multiple ailments. He was 84.
The long-time Congress leader and seven-time parliamentarian tested positive for COVID-19 when he was hospitalised and was being treated for a lung infection. He suffered a septic shock on Sunday due to it. Doctors said he died of a cardiac arrest.
“I was saddened to learn of the passing of India’s former President, Pranab Mukherjee, President Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
“I send my condolences to his family and the people of India as they grieve the loss of a great leader,” he said.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US was deeply saddened to learn about the demise of Mukherjee.
“His visionary leadership helped drive India’s rise as a global power and paved the way for a stronger US-India partnership, he said.
“President Mukherjee’s many accomplishments resulted in a more prosperous and secure India. As Minister of External Affairs and Defence, he championed the landmark US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement, a foundation of the US-India strategic partnership, and signed the Defense Framework Agreement to enable the US-India security relationship we witness today,” Pompeo said.
“Few Indian statesmen played a more vital role in preparing India for the mantle of global leadership in the 21st century. On behalf of the American people, we extend our deepest condolences to the people of India and to President Mukherjee’s family during this time of mourning,” he said in a statement.
In neighbouring Bangladesh, a state mourning was observed on Wednesday in honour of its “real friend” Mukherjee.
The government also recalled the former Indian president’s “outstanding and unforgettable” contributions to the country’s 1971 Liberation War and strengthening of bilateral relations.
All government, semi-government, autonomous and private institutions and Bangladesh missions abroad kept the national flag at half-mast to mourn the demise of the senior Indian leader.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent a letter to her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, saying ‘Bharat Ratna’ Mukherjee’s tireless work for the welfare of the people of India will inspire the future generation of leaders not only in India but across countries in the region.
Hasina called Mukherjee a true friend” of Bangladesh and a guardian-like figure to her family.
Hasina said Mukherjee always extended his 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.
“In such a bad time Mukherjee always enquired about my family and stood beside us in any of our necessity. He was our guardian and family friend and he always provided courage to us in any crisis…He will remain alive as a glittering star in the politics of the sub continent, she said.
Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid earlier expressed sorrow over Mukherjee’s demise, describing him as a “true friend” and recalling his outstanding and unforgettable contributions to the country”s 1971 Liberation War.
“His demise has caused an irreparable loss to the political arena of the sub-continent,” Hamid said.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday paid his last respects to Mukherjee, describing the departed leader “a dear friend of Sri Lanka and its people.”
“The late president was a dear friend of Sri Lanka and its people. The absence of his friendly leadership would be felt by the Indian public, Sri Lanka and the entire world,” Mahinda said in his condolence message.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condoled the death of Mukherjee and recalled with appreciation his commitment to reform, multilateralism and support to the world organisation.
The Secretary-General learned with sadness of the passing of former President Mukherjee and he expresses his most sincere condolences to his family as well as to the government and people of India for this loss,” Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric said.
The Secretary-General “recalls with appreciation” Mukherjee’s “commitment to reform, multilateralism and support to the United Nations,” Dujarric said.
Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Wednesday wrote in the condolence book at the High Commission of India in Singapore that Mukherjee, as a good friend of the country, made a significant contribution towards strengthening the bilateral relations under his leadership.
“On behalf of the government and people of Singapore, I offer our deepest condolences to the government and people of India on the passing of former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He was a true statesman who dedicated his life to serving and transforming India. Our thoughts are with the people of India and Shri Mukherjee’s family,” wrote the Singapore minister.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih were among other leaders who paid their tributes on the demise of Mukherjee.
Mukherjee, India’s 13th president, is survived by two sons and a daughter.