Uphold democracy, constitution, PM to army

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Patuakhali, Feb 08: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday directed Bangladesh Army to uphold democracy and constitution and make more contributions to the public welfare-oriented activities.

“The army will have to keep up the trend of democracy and constitution and make more important contributions to the public welfare-oriented activities,” he said.

The premier said this while inaugurating the newly-established ‘Sheikh Hasina Cantonment’ on the bank of the Payra river at Lebukhali here this afternoon.

“It now became a proven fact that the country is not developed without continuation of democracy,” she said. Sheikh Hasina also asked the members of Bangladesh Army to keep a constant vigil to face any internal and external threats for safeguarding the country’s constitution and sovereignty,” she said.

She added: “You’ll have to always remain ready to face any internal or external threats unitedly for protecting the sacred constitution and sovereignty of the motherland.”

At the same function, the prime minister hoisted the national standard of the Adhoc Headquarters 7 Infantry Division of Bangladesh Army.

Sheikh Hasina added: “I firmly belief that Seven Infantry Division will be turned into a division to follow due to professional competence and vibrant of work of its every member.”

She said, “This cantonment would be the most beautiful and effective cantonment of Bangladesh Insha Allah.”

The prime minister said her government took various measures for turning professional armed forces into world-standard modern forces which are inspired with the spirit of the great war of liberation.

“As part of the process we took a decision in principle to establish this division in 2016,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said she has a strong family bond with Bangladesh Army as her two brothers–Shaheed Sheikh Kamal and Shaheed Sheikh Jamal–were members of the army.

“My youngest brother Sheikh Russel also wanted to join the army,” she mentioned with an emotion charged voice.

“As I’m a member of the family, I think it’s my responsibility to build an army suitable to independent and sovereign Bangladesh,” she said.

The premier said Bangabandhu dreamt of establishing a strong and modern army, but his dream was not materialised.

“So it’s my commitment to the nation to complete his unfinished task and I have been working to achieve the goal,” she said.

The prime minister said Bangladesh earned independence under the great leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971 through the Liberation War.

She said Bangabandhu had started work to build the war-ravaged Bangladesh taking the entire nation with him and framed a defence policy to build a strong and trained army suitable to an independent country.

“We’ve kept the continuity of the development and expansion of Bangladesh Army by enacting the Armed Forces Goal-2030 in the light of the Defence Policy framed by the Father of the Nation,” she said.

The premier said her previous government during 1996-2000 tenure made massive development and welfare of Bangladesh Army.

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Social Welfare Minister Rashed Khan Menon, Libeartion Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Chief Whip of Jatiya Sangsad ASM Feroz, former army chiefs General (retd) Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan and General (retd) MA Mubin raised the national standard of the 11 headquarters and units.