Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kennedy, Bezenjo among Bangladesh freedom award winners

AHMAR MUSTIKHAN

LATE U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy and Baba-i-Balochistan, the late Mir Ghous Baksh Bezenjo, will be recognized by the government of Bangladesh for their contribution for the independence of Bangladesh, according to Bangladesh's first online newspaper bdnews24.com.

The decision to award Kennedy and Bezenjo with the highest award was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Bangladesh foreign minister Dipu Moni.
They are among 400 foreign nationals who supported the just struggle of the people of Bangladesh against the Pakistan military atrocities in 1971.

Senator Hasil Bizenjo, who is under fire of Baloch patriots for not helping the independence struggle in Balochistan, is likely to receive the award on behalf of his father.


Bezenjo's party called National Party was widely criticized in the media early this year after it inducted Imam Bheel, who was declared a drug kingpin by President Barack Obama, as its central leader.

A total of 40 Pakistanis and 226 Indians are among those who have won the award. Cuban leader Fidel Castro is one of the winners, while Indian premier Indira Gandhi, Yugoslav Joseph B. Tito and Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev been given the award posthumously.

Other than Bezenjo, Sain GM Syed, Air Marshal Asghar Khan, Sindhi poet Shaikh Ayaz, and human rights activist and poet Ahmed Salim, Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan and lawyer Zaffar Malik have also be awarded.

Asghar Khan's son Omar Asghar Khan and Dr. Tariq Rahman who were conscientious objectors as military servicemen have also been selected for the highest Bangladesh award.


A total of 83 US nationals have been selected by the committee. Senator Edward M Kennedy and Edmond Mulky, diplomat Archer Kent Blood, who was consul general of the US embassy in Dhaka in 1971, singer Joan Baez, poet Allen Ginsenberg and Layer Levin, the maker of the film "Joy Bangla", are among the selected personalities
.
From India, the recipients include former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, former foreign minister Sarder Saran Singh, former foreign minister Krishna Menon, former Congress leader Sachindra Lal Singha, former defence minister Jagjiban Rai, diplomat D P Dhar, P N Dhar, ex-prime minister I J Gujral, Pranab Mukherjee, Field Marshal Manek Shaw, Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora, Pandit Ravi Shankar, film maker Satyajit Roy, singer Manna Dey, artists Moqbul Fida Hussain and Bishnu Dey, and singer Mohammad Rafi.

According to bdnews24.com, the president or the prime minister will give the recipients or next of kin a 50 gram gold (18 carat) crest and honorary citizenship of Bangladesh on the fortieth anniversary of Bangladesh independence on March 26, 2011. #

First published in Baltimore Foreign Policy Examiner, December 13, 2010


Ahmar Mustikhan, is contributor with Baltimore Foreign Policy Examiner. He is a Balochistan freedom activist and writer based in the Washington DC area. He can be reached at ahmar_scribe@yahoo.com