Reiterating her government’s steadfast commitment to build a modern and allround Bangladesh Army, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday hoped that the force is fully prepared to resist any kind of evil force to protect the country’s unity.
"I'm sure that Bangladesh Army is fully ready to strongly resist any kind of evil force to safeguard the country's unity ... watching your efficiency in training, I can say that you're truly a force built with the spirit of the War of Liberation," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said this while addressing a darbar after witnessing the winter exercise named "Suchagro Medini" of Bangladesh Army at the Paglapir Khalia under Rangpur district. The exercise was conducted under the overall management of 66 Infantry Division.
General Officer of Commanding of 66 Infantry Division and Rangpur Area Commander of Bangladesh Army
Major General Md Masud Razzaque and Brigade Commander Brigadier General Abul Fazal Mohammad Sanaullah spoke on the occasion.
Apart from tanks and helicopters of Bangladesh Army, war planes and helicopters of Army Aviation and Bangladesh Air Force took part in the exercise.
Earlier on her arrival at the scene, the Prime Minister was received by Chief of Army Staff General Abu Belal Mohammad Shafiul Haque and General Officer of Commanding of 66 Infantry Division and Rangpur Area Commander of Bangladesh Army Major General Md Masud Razzaque.
Jatiya Party chairman and Prime Minister's Special Envoy Hussain Muhammad Ershad, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, Primary and Mass Education Minister Advocate Mostafizur Rahman, PM's Security Advisor Major General (retd) Tariq Ahmed Siddique, State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Mashiur Rahman Ranga, chiefs of Bangladesh Navy and Air Force as well high civil and military officials were present at the darbar, among others.
Reminding the members of army that people are the strength of the country and they (army personnel) are an integral part of these people, the Premier put emphasis on gaining and maintaining the confidence of the people.
"We all will have to earn people's confidence, trust and love ... victory (in the war) could never be triumphed without confidence and trust of the people. So you must earn confidence and trust of the people," she said.
She also hoped that the members of the force would be capable of continuing to earn the unflinching love of the countrymen by continuing their noble tasks.
The Prime Minister said her government is pledge-bound to build Bangladesh Army as a modern and allround force in the light of the Forces Goal-2030.
"Bangladesh Army has now been established as a military force consistent with the contemporary world.... to uphold this reputation, works are underway for ensuring professional excellence and imparting state-of-the art training," she said.
Through gradual development, the Premier said, Bangladesh Army has now been turned into a modern and time befitting disciplined force before the eyes of the global community.
"The contribution of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, especially the army, to the UN peacekeeping missions has been recognised by all and well-established on the world stage," she said.
As part of the implementation of the Forces Goal 2030 framed in the light of the directives of Bangabandhu, the Prime Minister said that execution of the Forces Goal 2030 would continue in phases as 17
Infantry Division has already been set up in Sylhet, while 10 Infantry Division at Ramu in Cox's Bazar.
Besides, she said, steps have been undertaken to establish a cantonment at Rajbari and at Lebukhali in Patuakhali, while a composite brigade has been set up for constructing and providing overall security to the Padma Bridge.
"Modern equipment have also been inducted to further strengthen the armed forces," she said. The Prime Minister said responding to the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Bengali officers and the soldiers taking alongside the common people put up a stiff resistance against the Pakistan Army.
She said that the memorial 'Roktagourab' at the Rangpur Cantonment is still shining as a bright example of sacrifice for the motherland. "I firmly believe that the sacrifice of all the martyrs would further motivate yourselves in discharging the sacred duty of protecting the country," she said.
The Prime Minster recalled that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman reorganized the army after the independence despite scores of limitations to safeguard the country's hard-earned independence and sovereignty. In its continuation, she said, 66 Infantry Division has been set up in Rangpur Cantonment, while the Father of the Nation established the Bangladesh Military Academy on March 11, 1974 to build a well trained army, according to BSS.