Tehran (ISNA) – The Gandhi Peace Prize for the past two years has been conferred on late Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said (2019) and Bangladeshi leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (2020) in recognition of their contributions to social and political transformation through non-violent methods.
Although the selection procedure does not allow awarding the prize posthumously, a special exception was made to confer on the two leaders after their death.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated on August 15, 1975 while Sultan Qaboos died on January 10, 2020.
Qaboos, the 2019 laureate of the Gandhi Peace Prize, was the Sultan of Oman from July 23, 1970 until his death. He was the longest-serving leader in the Middle East and Arab world at the time of his death.
“The Sultanate expresses its thanks and appreciation to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chairman of the prize’s adjudication committee, and other members of the jury,” Oman’s foreign ministry said.
The Indian initiative was in recognition of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos’ support to peace and settlement of regional disputes and conflicts by peaceful means, the ministry said.
The 2020 Gandhi Peace Prize laureate Sheikh Mujib (or just Mujib) is called the “Father of the Nation” in Bangladesh. He served as the first President of Bangladesh and later as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh from April 17, 1971 until his assassination.
He is considered the driving force behind the independence of Bangladesh and he is popularly dubbed with the title of “Bangabandhu” (Friend of Bengal) by the people of Bangladesh.
“The Government of Bangladesh acknowledges with deep gratitude the decision of the Government of India to confer the Gandhi Peace Prize 2020 to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, posthumously for the first time,” the Bangladeshi foreign ministry said.
“It is an honour for Bangladesh and its people for the Father of the Nation to be bestowed with this prestigious award. The honour assumes special significance on the 50th year of Bangladesh’s independence.”