Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday reiterated her government’s determination to build modern and strong armed forces keeping pace with the world to safeguard country’s hard-earned independence and sovereignty.
‘We want to move keeping pace with the world, we don’t want our armed forces to lag behind in any field. Keeping this in mind we’re further modernising and strengthening the armed forces,’ she told the 42nd founding anniversary function of the PGR at its headquarters at Dhaka cantonment in the afternoon.
The prime minister also called for continuation of the success in curbing extremism and reaffirmed that there won’t be any room for the twin monsters.
PGR commander Brigadier General Md Jahangir Harun delivered the welcome address at the function, while PM’s security adviser Major General (retd) Tariq Ahmed Siddiq and chief of army staff General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq were present on the dais.
Sheikh Hasina said members of Bangladesh’s Armed Forces are going to the peacekeeping missions where they are working with members of armed forces of other countries. ‘Keeping this in view, we’re making strides to further develop our armed forces,’ she said.
The prime minister said Bangladesh may have resource constraints, but as an independent and sovereign state, it must have whatever is necessary.
Putting emphasis on having knowledge and training, Sheikh Hasina said these are essential to build strong armed forces in the country. ‘We want that everybody gets training and acquires knowledge,’ she added.
While talking about the issue of extremism, the prime minister said that Bangladesh is not only facing this problem, it’s a global problem.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has set an example across the globe by containing extremism through successful operations conducted by the law enforcement agencies and the armed forces with people’s support. ‘This (trend of) success will have to be continued,’ she said.
She, however, said that another problem still lies before the nation which is drug addiction and for that the government has been taking steps. ‘We’re hopeful that we’ll also be able to achieve successes in this regard,’ she said.
Praising the PGR members for discharging their duties with utmost loyalty, discipline and professionalism, the prime minister said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman founded the regiment on July 5 in 1975 in his excellent farsightedness for the need of the state.
With the passage of time, the regiment has now been established as a bright and ever shining force, she said, adding as the head of the government she has close relations with the PGR.
‘While performing my responsibility, I meet you every day. Your efficiency, dutifulness and integrity have proved that you’re specially selected and dependable guard members,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the PGR is now well-organised and acclaimed by all thanks to relentless labour and sacrifice of its members. ‘I’m impressed and feel proud of seeing your sincerity in performing your responsibility braving sunshine, rain and storm.’
The prime minister said that the country has achieved tremendous socioeconomic development despite many adverse situations and for this she thanked all concerned including the armed forces for their all out cooperation.
‘Bangladesh is now regarded as a “role model of development”. We’ll move ahead with the concerted efforts of all and we’ll have to continue our work so that Bangladesh that emerged through the blood of millions of martyrs can move ahead keeping its head high in the global arena,’ she added.
Referring to the country’s foreign policy ‘friendship to all and malice to none’, Sheikh Hasina said that her government has taken all steps to expedite socioeconomic uplift through maintaining good relations and regional cooperation with its neighbours for which the trend of country’s development has become more dynamic.
The prime minister said her government has been giving priority to modernise the armed forces through framing the Forces Goal-2030 in light of the defence policy enacted in 1974 by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
‘Our government has been continuing work for modernisation and expansion of the armed forces on a priority basis in the light of the Forces Goal-2030 to further strengthen the country’s security system,’ she said.
Putting emphasis on gaining excellence through training in all fields by all the forces including different law enforcement agencies, she said without proper training, none would be able to earn excellence and accomplish any task properly.
Mentioning development attained by her government in various socioeconomic fields including agriculture, health, education, digitisation, electricity over the last eight and a half years, Sheikh Hasina renewed her vow to turn Bangladesh into a hunger and poverty free middle income country by 2021 and a prosperous, developed and peaceful country in South Asia by 2041.
The prime minister also highlighted the various steps of her government for the welfare of the PGR. ‘Our previous government in 1998 for the first time introduced the guard’s allowance by considering the risk of the PGR members.’
She said the PGR has been reorganised by making it stronger and more effective than before and a new multipurpose shed has been constructed to make the training more supportive and fruitful.
Sheikh Hasina said the construction work of a 14-storey residential building for the PGR members is underway at Dhaka cantonment. ‘It’s my gift for the PGR members,’ she said.
Earlier on her arrival at the PGR headquarters, the prime minister was received by army chief General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq and PGR commander Brigadier General Md Jahangir Harun.
A smartly turned out contingent of the PGR gave a state salute to the prime minister who later exchanged pleasantries with all the officers, junior commissioned officers and members of the PGR.
Sheikh Hasina also met the family members of the martyred PGR members and handed over gifts and financial assistance to them.
Naval chief Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed, chief of air staff Air Marshal Abu Esrar, PM’s military secretary Major General Mia Md Zainul Abedin, acting defence secretary Akhter Hossain Bhuiyan and PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim were present.
Source: New Age