PM asks army to uphold democracy, constitution
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday directed Bangladesh Army to uphold democracy and constitution and make more contributions to the public welfare-oriented activities.
‘The army will have to keep up the trend of democracy and constitution and make more important contributions to the public welfare-oriented activities. . . it now became a proven fact that the country is not developed without continuation of democracy,’ she said. Sheikh Hasina also asked the members of Bangladesh Army to keep a ‘constant vigil’ to face any internal and external threats for safeguarding the country’s constitution and sovereignty, reports the BSS.
‘You’ll have to always remain ready to face any internal or external threats unitedly for protecting the sacred constitution and sovereignty of the motherland,’ she said.
The premier said this while inaugurating the newly-established ‘Sheikh Hasina Cantonment’ on the bank of the Payra river at Lebukhali here this afternoon.
At the same function, the prime minister hoisted the national standard of the Adhoc Headquarters 7 Infantry Division of Bangladesh Army.
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Social Welfare Minister Rashed Khan Menon, Libeartion Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Chief Whip of Jatiya Sangsad ASM Feroz, former army chiefs General (retd) Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan and General (retd) MA Mubin raised the national standard of the 11 headquarters and units.
Ministers, MPs, the chiefs of three services, diplomats and high civil and military officials were present.
The premier inspected a spectacular parade of the army contingents on the occasion and took state salute from a decorated dais.
The premier expressed her firm optimism that this cantonment would be the most beautiful and effective cantonment of Bangladesh.
‘I firmly belief that Seven Infantry Division will be turned into a division to follow due to professional competence and vibrant of work of its every member,’ she said.
The premier added: ‘This cantonment would be the most beautiful and effective cantonment of Bangladesh Insha Allah.’
The prime minister said her government took various measures for turning professional armed forces into world-standard modern forces which are inspired with the spirit of the great war of liberation.
‘As part of the process we took a decision in principle to establish this division in 2016,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said she has a strong family bond with Bangladesh Army as her two brothers — Shaheed Sheikh Kamal and Shaheed Sheikh Jamal — were members of the army.
‘My youngest brother Sheikh Russel also wanted to join the army,’ she mentioned with an emotion charged voice.
‘As I’m a member of the family, I think it’s my responsibility to build an army suitable to independent and sovereign Bangladesh,’ she said.
The premier said Bangabandhu dreamt of establishing a strong and modern army, but his dream was not materialised.
‘So it’s my commitment to the nation to complete his unfinished task and I have been working to achieve the goal,’ she said.
The prime minister said Bangladesh earned independence under the great leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971 through the Liberation War.
She said Bangabandhu had started work to build the war-ravaged Bangladesh taking the entire nation with him and framed a defence policy to build a strong and trained army suitable to an independent country.
‘We’ve kept the continuity of the development and expansion of Bangladesh Army by enacting the Armed Forces Goal-2030 in the light of the Defence Policy framed by the Father of the Nation,’ she said.
The premier said her previous government during 1996-2000 tenure made massive development and welfare of Bangladesh Army. ‘In the last nine years, we’ve increased the capabilities of the force side by side with making infrastructural change,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the army was equipped with sophisticated arms and equipment alongside establishing new infantry divisions and brigades.
‘We’ve set up armoured, composite and para-commando brigades as well as Bangladesh Infantry Regiment,’ she said.
To modernize and make the force time-befitting, she said, modern vehicles, helicopters and arms and ammunitions have been inducted into it.
The premier said the living standard of the army members has improved due to sincere efforts of her government. ‘Modern arrangements have been made to provide better treatment from the combined military hospitals.
She said the epoch-making bone marrow transplantation centre and burn and plastic surgery centre have been set up in the Dhaka CMH. As a result, the people of the country are also receiving modern healthcare services alongside the members of army, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has constructed housing, messes, SM barracks and made arrangements for training for the soldiers of ranks of the army.
The prime minister said the national standard of 11 units including division headquarters and two brigade headquarters were hoisted to give completeness to the 7 Infantry Division.
She extended her sincere thanks to all concerned including the army chief, the area commander, Jessore and the general officer commanding (GOC) to establish an environment-friendly cantonment.
‘You’ve worked sincerely to set up a new cantonment on the bank of the Payra river in Lebukhali within such a short time and for this, I extend my sincere thanks to all,’ she said.
She said the socioeconomic development of the area is witnessing a new lease of life due to establishment of this cantonment. ‘It’s providing a new hope among the people and their expectations have increased before you,’ she said.
The prime minister said the patriotic army has earned overall acceptability thanks to its integrity, work efficiency and various public service-oriented activities.
She said the armed forces have always been praised for their responsible role in providing services to the distressed humanity and protecting the life and property of the people.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is now a ‘brand name’ in maintaining peace in the UN Peacekeeping Missions which is a matter of pride for the country.
The premier said the armed forces have set up a unique example by extending help with responsibility and sympathy to the affected people during the natural disasters at recent time.
She said the army has been playing a praiseworthy role in assisting the forcibly evicted Myanmar citizens who took shelter in Bangladesh. ‘It’s further brightening Bangladesh’s image in the world,’ she said.
Elaborating her government’s tremendous achievement in different fields, the prime minister said the aim of her government is to ensure development and welfare.
‘Our government is a government of the people and our goal is making overall development and welfare,’ she said. Sheikh Hasina said the government made epoch-making development in socioeconomic sector in the last nine years.
‘Bangladesh is now a role model of development in the world and the people are getting fruits of uplift,’ she said.