Bangladesh today celebrated 43rd anniversary of its victory over the Pakistani forces in the 1971 liberation war which it won with crucial Indian support.
A 31-gun salute heralded the day with President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paying tributes to the martyrs.
They offered wreaths at the National memorial at suburban Savar in a ceremony marked by playing of last post in army bugles.
Tens of thousands of people including major political figures like former prime minister and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia paid homage to the soldiers.
The president later took the salute of the National Day Parade. The veterans from the war and contingents of the three armed forces, paramilitary forces and the police took part in the march. They also displayed their weaponry and hardware.
The war began after the sudden barbaric crackdown on unarmed people of the then East Pakistan by the Pakistani troops on March 25, 1971 and ended on December 16 the same year with their unconditional surrender to the Indo-Bangla forces in Dhaka.
General AAK Niazi, who commanded Pakistan army, surrendered with 93,000 soldiers to the allied forces of freedom fighters and Indian army at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka.
An estimated three million Bengalis died during the Liberation War led by the interim Bangladesh government in exile with its headquarters in Kolkata.
India also sheltered nearly 10 million Bangladeshis who fled the country to evade atrocities by Pakistani troops, their Bengali speaking collaborators including Jamaat activists and the Urdu-speaking Muslim groups who previously migrated from their homeland mostly in Bihar and UP after the 1947 partition.