AL never used Army for power: PM on Armed Forces Day

AL never used Army for power: PM on Armed Forces Day

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Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said Awami League never used Armed Forces as a tool to grab power.
“Awami League works for the overall development of the Armed Forces whenever it comes in power because we believe in democracy. We never used the Armed Forces as a tool to capture power,” she said.The Prime Minister was addressing a reception accorded to the Armed Forces at Senakunja of Dhaka Cantonment marking the Armed Forces Day.
She mentioned that Awami League never staged any coup in the Armed Forces and never killed its officers and soldiers. “Instead, we took steps to build the Armed Forces in such a way so that they can gain confidence and trust not only in the country but also across the globe,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has adopted an effective plan to make the Armed Forces capable to face the challenges of the 21st century.
As part of the plan, she said, the Armed Forces is being equipped with modern technology-based war equipment, including imparting training to them at home and abroad, with an aim to strengthen the country’s defence system.
The Prime Minister said the Armed Forces Day holds a very important place in the history of Liberation War, as on this day in 1971, members of Army, Navy and Air Force launched a united resistance against the Pakistani occupation forces to expedite the victory.
Paying rich tributes to the martyrs and those who made immense sacrifice for independence, she said the country’s people always remember their contributions.
She said the process to modernise the three forces is being implemented in phases under Forces Goal-2030 which was formulated in light of the defence policy 1974 of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Hasina said her government has established a new infantry division and a number of brigades as part of strengthening the defence system and expanding army after assuming office for the 2nd term in 2014.
She said the Father of the Nation had wanted to build efficient and smart Armed Forces. That is why Bangabandhu with deep wisdom and farsightedness had taken sincere initiatives soon after the independence despite financial constraint of a war-devastated nation, she added.
Hasina said Bangabandhu laid the foundation of the Armed Forces of an independent country and he had established the military academy, combined school, training schools and institutions for development of the training and organisational structure of the Armed Forces. “The very existence of the present Armed Forces of Bangladesh is based on that foundation.”
Hasina said members of the Armed Forces have earned people’s confidence and they are playing a very significant role in rescue operation during any natural disaster as well as in constructing infrastructures and expediting the country’s socio-economic development.
During the tenure of the present government, she said, a remarkable number of war ships, maritime helicopters, and maritime patrol craft have been procured and Bangladesh Navy has been turned into a three-dimensional force.
The Prime Minister said two much-sought submarines would be commissioned in Navy very soon which will make special contribution to the country’s overall defence system.
She said under the Forces Goal-2030, new units have already been incorporated in Bangladesh Air Force with an increase in its manpower.
Hasina said efforts are underway to equip army, navy and air force with modern training equipment. Infantry divisions were constituted in Sylhet and Ramu of Cox’s Bazar, she said.
The government has taken steps to constitute a full-fledged division in the country’s southern part, she said.
Lauding the role of Armed Forces in nation building activities and peacekeeping at home and abroad, Hasina said their professionalism and competence transcended across the globe. “They’ve brightened the country’s image in the United Nations through their relentless services.”
After addressing the audience, the Prime Minister moved round the venue of the reception and exchanged pleasantries with the army officials and their family members, diplomats and other guests.
Earlier, the Prime Minister was received by the chiefs of the three services when she arrived at Senakunja. – UNB

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