Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

Stay alert to face internal, external threats, PM asks army

Published 11:28 pm | March 03, 2019

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today directed members of Bangladesh Army to keep a constant vigil to face any
“internal and external threats” for safeguarding the country’s constitution and sovereignty.

“You will 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 prime minister was addressing the “national standard” handing over
ceremony of the Bangladesh Infantry Regiments (BIR)-7th, 8th, 9th and 10th at
Shaheed Colonel Anis Parade Ground at Rajshahi Cantonment here this morning.

She handed over the national standard to the commander of the respective

A smartly turned out contingent of Bangladesh Army gave salute to the
prime minister through a spectacular parade.

Along with Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed and the parade
commander, the prime minister reviewed the parade riding on a decorated open

Describing Bangladesh Army as an “asset” of the country and a “symbol” of
the confidence and the trust of the people, the premier also asked its
members to be more “professionally-efficient” and “welfare-minded” with
social and religious values.

“Bangladesh Army is our asset and a symbol of confidence and trust of the
people…so, you will have to be more competent, efficient, honest and
welfare-minded being imbued with social and religious values to achieve
desired standard of professionalism,” she said.

Noting that her government always received constant support of the army to
serve the people, Sheikh Hasina expressed her firm belief that the army will
stand beside the people whenever it will be necessary during the running of
the state by the present government.

The premier said the members of Bangladesh Army played an important role
in upholding democratic trend of the country by performing their
responsibilities with utmost sincerity in the 11th Jatiya Sangsad polls.

“I extend my thanks to you for it and I also express gratitude to the
countrymen for getting a scope of formation of the government for the fourth
time and the third consecutive term,” she said.

The premier said her government always wants to run the country as the
servants of the people, never rulers.

Mentioning that the government is pledge-bound to build a modern and all-
round armed forces, Sheikh Hasina said for this, the government has framed
the Forces Goal-2030 which is being implemented in phases.

As part of it, she said, new infantry divisions, brigades, units and
training centres were established. Besides, three new divisions were formed
in the army, she also said.

The prime minister said her government has established para commando
brigade for the first time, while MLRS and Missile Regiment have also been
added to the army for further strengthening the country’s air defence system.

Besides, the present government has strengthened operational capability of
the army to a great extent through inducting various modern war equipment,
helicopters and modern infantry gazettes to keep pace with the developed
world, she added.

Referring to her government’s steps for women empowerment, the prime
minister said the government took an epoch making decision to get female
officers and soldiers admitted to the army.

Sheikh Hasina said in continuation of the initiative, appointing female
pilots for the first time in the history of the army initiated a new horizon.

The premier recalled that despite economic constraints, Father of the
Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took steps for establishing strong
armed forces in the country.

At the directives of Bangabandhu, she said, Bangladesh Military Academy was
founded in Cumilla Cantonment in 1972.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu framed the defence policy in 1974 by
realizing the necessity of a developed and professional army.

The premier said in the light of Bangabandhu’s far-reaching defence policy,
a process for modernisation of the army is underway. Today, Bangladesh Army
has been elevated to a dignified position at home and abroad, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said to infuse more dynamism into the Infantry Division, her
government for the first time realized to establish its second regiment
alongside the East Bengal Regiment. “I approved in principle the formation of
Bangladesh Infantry Regiment in 1999 and formally hoisted its flag in April
2001,” she said.

The prime minister said Bangladesh Infantry Regiment is the first regiment
established after independence. There are 43 units including two para
commando battalions in the regiment, she said.

“The members of the regiment are working with reputation at home and abroad
and I hope that they will continue work to uphold this reputation,” she

Sheikh Hasina said her government has taken all kinds of steps to build
Bangladesh Infantry Regimental Centre as a modern training centre. The work
on increasing training and administrative facilities is underway, she said.

Besides safeguarding the country’s independence and sovereignty, she said,
the army has engaged themselves in the nation-building programmes.

“Due to your professional efficiency, the important responsibility for
supervision work of the Padma Bridge and the construction work of Cox’s
Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive, the Hatirjheel Project in Dhaka and Mohipal
Flyover in Feni was given to you,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the army members at different foreign missions are
bringing honour and dignity through sacrifice, dutifulness and
professionalism which has further brightened Bangladesh’s image abroad.

She said the flag is a symbol of independence, sovereignty, honour and
dignity. “So it’s a responsibility of all soldiers to protect the dignity of
the flag,” she said.

The premier said earning ability of getting the national flag by any unit
is a matter of rare honour and pride. “The national flag, a symbol of
independence and sovereignty, has been handed over to you and I extend my
heartiest congratulations to BIR-7,8,9 and 10 for achieving this honour and
glory,” she said.

“You’ll have to remain always prepared to protect the dignity of the flag
which you’ve got as recognition to your work with efficiency, hard exercise
and dutifulness,” she said.

Earlier on her arrival at the venue, the prime minister was received by
Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed and GOC and Area Commander of the army
and the Commandant of the Bangladesh Infantry Regimental Centre.

Ministers, advisers to the prime minister, parliament members, the chiefs of navy and air force, former army chiefs, foreign diplomats and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.


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