Tarique Rahman, eldest son of slain President Ziaur Rahman, will receive the first SAARC Award on behalf of the Zia family at the inaugural session of the 13th SAARC summit in Dhaka, reports UNB.
The 12th SAARC summit in Islamabad decided to introduce the SAARC Award. It also decided to give the first SAARC Award to slain President Ziaur Rahman as a "dreamer" of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
The posthumous award -- a gold medal and US$25,000 -- will be given to Ziaur Rahman. The SAARC secretary general will read out a citation letter recalling the contribution of late President Zia who mooted the idea of the regional cooperation in South Asia.
On November 12, seven SAARC leaders will visit the National Mausoleum at Savar and lay wreaths paying tributes to the martyrs of the country's independence war in 1971.
The South Asian leaders will also visit the Sher-e-Banglanagar Mazar of Zia as a dreamer of SAARC and lay wreaths there. They will also unveil a plaque containing the excerpts of President Zia's letters written to heads of government mooting the idea of a regional cooperation in South Asia which ultimately led to the emergence of the SAARC.
The inaugural session will be presided over by current SAARC chair and Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Centre. The summit leaders will pay respect to those killed in recent earthquake and Tsunami.
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia will make an welcome address and she will also be elected as a new chairperson of the seven-nation forum. All SAARC leaders will deliver speeches at the opening session. Later, the SAARC secretary general will submit a report.