Former president Pranab Mukherjee today arrived in Bangladesh where he would be conferred upon an honorary doctorate degree by a prestigious university. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and India’s High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla received him at the Shahjalal International Airport here. Mukherjee, 82, is accompanied by his daughter Sharmista Mukherjee.
The former president, during his four-day visit, would join a three-day ‘International Bengali Literature Conference’ as the chief guest tomorrow, officials here said. The conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He would also meet Hasina tomorrow and have launch at her Ganobhaban official residence after visiting Bangabandhu Museum to pay respects to the country’s Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. President Abdul Hamid is also set to host a dinner in the honour of Mukherjee at Bangabhaban presidential palace. The Chittagong University will confer Doctor of Literature (D.Litt) degree upon Mukherjee on January 16.
The university said in a statement that they decided to honour him with the degree for his “outstanding contributions to society and for being a genuine friend of Bangladesh”.
The former president would also visit two dormitories of the university in the southeastern port city of Chittagong, named after revolutionary anti-British movement veterans Master Da Surya Sen and Pritilata Waddedar alongside Masterda’s birthplace. Bangladesh’s premier Dhaka University in 2013 conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Law upon Mukherjee. Bangladesh in 2013 honoured Mukherjee for his contribution to the Liberation War in 1971 as a “foreign friend”.