Ensure democratic, constitutional stability, PM asks Armed Forces

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Dhaka, Feb 07: Terming the Armed Forces as the country’s symbol of independence and sovereignty, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday asked them to contribute more to progress of the nation and maintain democratic and constitutional stability in future.“Our Armed Forces have earned name and fame on foreign lands by their honesty and professional efficacy. Bangladesh Armed Forces are contributing significantly to peacekeeping in various countries under the emblem of UN mission,” she said, BSS reported.

The premier added: “The success of the Armed Forces has heightened the image of Bangladesh.

They will also have to play an important role in progress of the nation and maintaining democratic and constitutional stability so that we could take forward the country’s development spree.”

The prime minister was addressing the graduation ceremony of the “DSCSC 2018-2019 Course” of Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) at Sheikh Hasina Complex of the college at Mirpur Cantonment in Dhaka this morning.

Commandant of the college Major General Md Enayet Ullah delivered the welcome address at the function.

Ministers, advisers to the prime minister, parliament members, acting chief of army staff, chiefs of the Navy and Air Force, principal staff officer of the Armed Forces Division, vice-chancellors of different public and private universities, foreign diplomats and high civil and military officials were present.

The premier said the Armed Forces are symbol of the country’s independence and sovereignty.

“Alongside the noble responsibility of protecting our sovereignty, the members of our patriotic Armed Forces are also making significant contributions to the fields of tackling any crisis and disasters, construction of infrastructures, socio-economic development, maintaining law and order etc,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said in the backdrop of today’s changing global security scenario, the role of the Armed Forces has got new dimensions.

“Keeping this in mind, the Defence Services Command and Staff College has given due importance to this issue in their training syllabi,” she said.

She underscored the need for making the training and syllabus time-befitting so that the members of the Armed Forces could move keeping pace with the world.

Sheikh Hasina instructed graduating officers of the college to remain prepared for undertaking higher leadership role as well as perform responsibilities with integrity.

“You have successfully completed this course by dint of your hard work and perseverance and this course will make you more confident in discharging assigned duties and in facing any challenge, more efficiently,” she said.

The premier continued: “You all should be prepared to undertake higher leadership role … you all shall perform your duties with integrity.”

Spelling out the government’s steps for development of the college, she said the government has taken up projects to extend infrastructural facilities of this college.

Sheikh Hasina said the modern multistoried academic complex and other installations have already been commissioned that enhanced the training capability of the college.

Besides, more such construction and development works have also been planned, which will further modernise the overall training structure of this college in future, she said.

Describing Bangladesh as a peace-loving country, the prime minister said the trust and respect of the country for world peace is aptly echoed in its foreign policy – ‘Friendship to all and malice to none on the basis of equality’.

Alongside the noble responsibility of protecting country’s sovereignty, she said the Armed Forces are also playing important role in construction of infrastructures, socioeconomic development, as well as for maintaining law and order in the country, she added.

Praising role of the Armed Forces in maintaining world peace, Sheikh Hasina said they are contributing significantly to peacekeeping in various countries under the emblem of the UN mission.

About the DSCSC, the prime minister said the institution has been acclaimed as a unique military educational institution in the international arena.

Since its inception, she said, this college has successfully completed 43 Staff Courses for the Army, 37 Courses for the Navy and 39 Courses for the Air Force.

Besides, a total of one thousand one hundred and 11 officers from the Armed Forces of 42 friendly countries have also obtained ‘PSC’ degree from this college and they are contributing to the defence structure of their respective countries.

Congratulating the graduates who successfully completed the course, Sheikh Hasina hopes that they would now be more confident in discharging assigned duties and in facing any challenge, more efficiently.

“You’ll have to love the country and its people and work with utmost honesty and sincerity for making their life successful and turning Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country,” she said.

Pointing out her party’s victory in the 11th parliamentary elections, Sheikh Hasina said, the new governments will fully implement all the pledges made to the countrymen.

She said the people, being highly satisfied with the development works of her government, have made the Awami League victorious again in the 11th parliamentary elections.

“We will fully implement all the pledges made to the countrymen,” she said.

The premier said the people of the country are now enjoying the benefits of development that took place in the last 10 years. “Once Bangladesh was known as a country of corruption, famine and natural disasters and today we removed that bad name … Bangladesh is now a role model of development in the world,” she said.

The prime minister said the government is adopting development plan so that the rural people get urban facilities in their village. “Our aim is to turn every village into a town and we’re working to achieve the goal,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the government is constructing a nuclear power plant in Rooppur of Pabna. “After finishing this power plant, we have a plan to set up another nuclear power plant in southern region,” she said.

The prime minister said the government has taken massive plan for development of road, river and rail communications. “To execute the plan our armed forces are cooperating us and for this I am thanking them,” she said.

While talking about the construction of the Padma Bridge, Sheikh Hasina said the government is implementing the mega project with its own fund.

She said the World Bank had raised an allegation of graft regarding the bridge and the government had taken it a challenge. “The World Bank could not prove the allegation. We started the work of the bridge with our own money and I think this only decision has changed the image of Bangladesh in the world,” she said. The premier continued: “We’ve proved through it that we can.”

The prime minister expressed her determination to build Bangladesh as a middle income country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041. “We also adopted the Delta Plan-2100 for sustainable development and ensuring beautiful future for the future generations,” she said.

A total of 215 officers — 118 from the Bangladesh Army, 29 from the Navy and 23 from the Air Force — as well as 45 overseas officers from 19 countries — the USA, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Liberia, the Maldives, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Palestine, Pakistan, the Philippines, Nepal, Nigeria and Indonesia — were graduated this year from this college.