PM ‘alert’ for army

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday asked the armed forces to stay alert against any threats to the country’s democracy, insisting her government would not allow them to be used for ‘political purposes’.

This comes four days after BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia had said ‘the army will not sit idle in times of anarchy’.

The Prime Minister was addressing top officials of the armed forces including their chiefs at Dhaka cantonment’s Senakunja.

“ Like in any independent state, our armed forces should protect the holy constitution of Bangladesh and be prepared to tackle any threat ,” the Prime Minister said. The armed forces should be prepared at all times to protect the sovereignty of this country.”

The Prime Minister urged the armed forces to abide by the constitution and uphold democray in Bangladesh.

“All forces against the constitution and democracy must be resisted at all costs. We must remember that the democracy of today has been established through sacrifices and struggles,” the Prime Minister said.

Vested interests were trying to turn Bangladesh into a terrorist state, she said.

Their propoganda aims to distance the Awami League from the armed forces, she said.

“These vested interests rode on the backs of the army, brought about military rule and autocracy and subjected people to terrorism . Development critically suffered during their misrule,” she said.

Bangladesh was under military rule for a long time. The military regimes of Ziaur Rahman and later Hussein Muhammad Ershad were ruled illegal by the High Court.

The military played a major role in the latest caretaker regime during 2007-08.

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s comments in a Bogra rally on Mar 24 set off speculations with Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif blaming Khaleda Zia for ‘provoking’ the army.

However, BNP Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said Khaleda Zia did not indicate military intervention in her speech.

At the Senakunja programme, Prime Minister said the army would be kept above all ‘unwanted interventions’ and far from any political interference.

The Army, Navy and Air Force Chiefs greeted the Prime Minister on her arrival at Senakunja.

Source: Bd news24

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