Uphold dignity of national flag remain alert: PM Hasina to Army

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Bogra, Nov 12: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday has called the Bangladesh Army for upholding the dignity of the national flag.

“We have to be alert always for upholding the dignity and honour of the national flag. We’ve achieved the national flag through our independence,” the Prime Minister said this while addressing the National Standard awarding function of the 12 Lancer of the Armoured Corps and the fifth reunion of the corps at the Armoured Corps Centre and School at Bogra Cantonment in the morning.

Speaking at the ceremony, she described the army as a ‘national asset’ and ‘symbol of pride’.

“Being awarded the national flag is a great achievement for any unit. It calls for a lot of diligence and efficiency to achieve it,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina also asked the Army members to continue their works with prudence, professional efficiency and dutifulness for the country’s progress.

She also directed them to discharge their responsibilities by maintaining confidence in senior leadership, mutual trust, brotherhood, dutifulness and discipline.

“As head of the government, I’m extending all kinds of support for the development of Bangladesh Army, and I’ll do whatever is needed in the future for further modernisation of the force,” Hasina said.

Highlighting various steps taken for the modernisation of the Army, she said most modern MBT-2000 tanks have been inducted in the Armoured Corps, while a plan for formation of two more armoured regiments is under active consideration of the government.

Besides, the Prime Minister said, a process for the upgradation of old tanks of the corps has begun.

She also said her government has framed the National Defence Policy and the Forces Goal-2030 in light of the 1974 Defence Policy enacted by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The Prime Minster said during the tenure from 1996-2001, her government established and reformed one infantry brigade, one composite brigade, Special Works Organisation, one armoured unit, three infantry units, two artillery regiments, one riverine engineer battalion, two engineer construction battalions and one support and transport battalion.

In continuation of this development, she said, important organisations like NDC, BIPSOT, AFMC, MIST and NCOs Academy have been established for modernisation of Bangladesh Army and make time-befitting its training standard.

Hasina said her government has taken all possible realistic programmes for the development of Bangladesh Army. “We’ve already established the 17 Infantry Division in Sylhet and one infantry brigade headquarters and two infantry battalions under the division,” she said.

“We’ve implemented massive programmes for raising operational capacity of the army. Adequate numbers of APCs, ARVs, battle tanks-2000, helicopters and other arms and equipment have already been purchased for the army,” Hasina said.

The Prime Minister reviewed the parade of the 5th reunion of the Armoured Corps and took salute riding an open jeep.

She later handed over the National Standard to the unit commander of the 12 Lancer Corps, a unit of the Armoured Corps, in recognition of its efficiency, hard exercise and dutifulness to the country.

Earlier on her arrival at Shaheed Badiuzzaman Parade Ground at the cantonment, the Prime Minister was received by Chief of Army Staff General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Haque.

Ministers, parliament members, Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral M Farid Habib and Chief and Air Staff Air Marshal Abu Esrar, GOC and Area Commander of Bangladesh Army, high civil and military officials and diplomats were present.

Later, she planted a ‘Jaitun’ sapling on the occasion.