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Be ready to face any threat to constitution, PM tells generals

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka

The prime minister, Sheikh Haisna, talks to army officials in the conference of the generals held at the Officers’ Mess (new) of Army Headquarters in Dhaka Cantonment on Sunday. — New Age photo The prime minister, Sheikh Haisna, talks to army officials in the conference of the generals held at the Officers’ Mess (new) of Army Headquarters in Dhaka Cantonment on Sunday. — New Age photo

The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Sunday asked the armed forces to always remain vigilant and ready to face any threat to the constitution of the country and strengthen the democratic trend.
The prime minister said the 10th Jatiya Sangsad polls were held on January 5 for constitutional obligation and maintaining democratic process and Bangladesh Army played a significant role in smooth and successfully holding of the elections.
‘So the armed forces will have to remain always alert and ready to face any threat to the constitution of
Bangladesh and strengthen the democratic trend in future,’ she said.
Hasina said the presence of the members of Bangladesh Army along with other law enforcement agencies brought comfort to the public mind during the elections.
‘The people were able to exercise their voting rights going to the polling centres without fear,’ she said, extending her sincere thanks and gratitude to all members of army.
The prime minister said this while addressing a conference of the generals at the Officers’ Mess of Army Headquarters in Dhaka Cantonment Sunday morning.
Placing emphasis on maintaining chain of command of the army, she said the senior officials would have to present themselves before the junior officers as an example of morality, honesty and dutifulness.
‘You will have to earn respect and loyalty of the subordinates and look after their all needs, hopes and aspirations and thought,’ she said.
The prime minister also directed senior officials of Bangladesh Army to continue discharging their duties maintaining mutual trust, sympathy, brotherhood and discipline as well as remaining loyal to the leadership.
‘As senior officers, you will have to play a pioneering role in maintaining trust, belief and respect in every tire of the force,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina, who is also in-charge of the ministry of defence, said her government was pledge-bound to build efficient, modern and strong armed forces. ‘We took initiatives for the development and modernisation of the armed forces whenever we formed the government,’ she added.
‘We can say with pride that whatever significant development has been made, it took place during the Awami League government,’ she said.
She extended her sincere thanks to the all of Bangladesh Army, including the chief of army staff, to take forward the development trend of the government by keeping the force’s advancement ongoing despite different adversities.
Hasina said her government always got the cooperation of the army to serve the mass people. ‘It is my firm belief that during the running of state, the army will stand beside the people whenever they would be called,’ she added.
Referring to the BDR carnage at Peelkhana on February 25 in 2009 in which 57 army officers were killed, the prime minister said there was a commitment of her government to complete the trial within shortest possible time.
‘I was determined to keep my commitment and we have set an example by finishing such a big trial within a short time,’ she said.
Hasina said various important responsibilities including supervision work of the much-awaited Padma Bridge have been entrusted in the glorious Bangladesh Army thanks to its professional reputation and dependency.
‘I firmly believe that the army would accomplish the important and national responsibilities with utmost integrity and I hope that the nation will witness your massive involvement in the national development activities,’ she said.
‘It is my active consideration to establish a new division at Ramu in Cox’s Bazaar and an infantry division at Char Bhabanipur near Rajbari during our present tenure,’ she said.
Earlier on her arrival at the venue, the prime minister was received by the prime minister’s defense adviser Major General (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique and chief of army staff General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan.




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