Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said her government has never used the Armed Forces in its own interest as it is determined to do whatever necessary for building an efficient, strong and modern Armed Force to protect the country’s sovereignty and independence.
“We’ve never used the Armed Forces in our own interest rather we’re very firm to do whatever necessary for building an efficient, strong and modern Armed Forces,” she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a reception at Senakunja in Dhaka Cantonment this afternoon marking the Armed Forces Day, 2013.
“The Armed Forces of the country is our ‘national pride’ …it’s imbued with the spirit of the war of liberation, and I wish its continuous prosperity,” she said.
The premier made it clear that the unprecedented development and modernisation of the Armed Forces has been done during the tenure of the Awami League government.
She said her government has adopted the Forces Goal 2030 in light with the Defense Policy of 1974 to reconstitute and modernise the three services and it is being implemented in phases.
“The government has procured fourth generation tank MBT-2000 for the first time in the history of Bangladesh Army, procured armored recovery vehicles for increasing operational capacity of the Army and its modernization under Vision 2021,” she said.
Besides, the government procured various arms alongside weapon locating radar SLC-2, self-propelled gun APC and other modern equipment for the infantry division, modern helicopters for the army aviation apart from adding other military equipment to the Armed Forces to enhance country’s military power.
The premier mentioned that similar programmes were also undertaken for the development of Bangladesh Navy and turning it into a three-dimensional force as process is underway to commission submarine to its fleet. “I’ve given approval in principle to procure a state-of-the-art hospital ship for the Navy.”
She mentioned that the government has set up an air base in Cox’s Bazar for increasing the monitoring of the Air Force in the southeastern region of the country as well as in the vast sea areas.
Noting that the work for the construction of ‘Bangabandhu Aeronautical Centre’ is at the final stage and once completed, Hasina said, “Inshallah we’ll be able to build fighter planes one day and I’ve that belief.”
Recalling the martyred members of the Armed Forces of the BDR carnage of 2009 with great respect, Hasina said, “The trial of the accused in this heinous act has already been completed and there is no second example of completing trial of such huge extent of criminal offense in the world. Our government is never hesitant in putting the real criminals behind the bars to establish the rule of law.”
Terming the War of Liberation the biggest event in Bangladesh history, the Prime Minister said that responding to the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, valiant freedom fighters joined the bloody war against mighty occupation forces of Pakistan and achieved the ultimate goal of independence.
At one stage of the war, Sheikh Hasina said, Bangladesh Armed Forces was established with the Army, Navy and Air Force on this day in 1971 and they fought the war risking their lives which later expedited the country’s victory.
She said the aim of the Father of Nation was to build an efficient and smart Armed Force. Soon after the independence, Bangabandhu with his farsighted vision took frantic efforts to develop a strong and modern Army despite financial constraints.
Sheikh Hasina said that following the footsteps of Bangabandhu, her government during its previous term implemented massive programmes for strengthening and modernising the armed forces, including the procurement of modern MIG-29 Fighter Planes for air force, state-of-the-art frigates for Navy alongside setting up infantry brigade, special works organisation and composite brigade for army.
Besides, it set up National Defense College, Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations Training, NCO’s Academy, Armed Forces Medical College and Military Institute of Sciences and Technology, Trust Bank, Five Star Hotel Radisson.
The Prime Minister said the members of the Bangladesh Armed Forces are being praised worldwide as a dependable force in maintaining international peace, stability and security.
She said the Bangladeshi peacekeepers through performing their duties in peacekeeping missions with utmost sincerity and efficiency have not only enhanced the image of the country to the international community, but also increased the image of the United Nations.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice M Mozammel Hossain, Jatiya Party chairman and former president Hussain Mohammad Ershad, chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad, deputy speaker M Shawkat Ali, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Ministers, PM’s advisers, parliament members, freedom fighters and chiefs of the three Services attended the reception.
Diplomats, in-service and retired members of the armed forces and their spouses, leaders of different political parties and families of the gallantry award recipients also joined the reception.
Later, the Prime Minister exchanged pleasantries with the army officials and their families, diplomats and other guests.
Source: UNB Connect