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PM Sheikh Hasina (File Photo)

Stay alert to face internal & external threat: PM asks army

WT24 Desk

Unveiling her government’s plan to establish “another division” of Bangladesh Army in southern region, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today directed Bangladesh Army to keep a “constant vigil” to face “internal and external threat” for safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, BSS reports.  “You will have to always remain alert and ready to face ‘internal or external threat’ unitedly for protecting the sacred constitution and sovereignty of the motherland,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina’s comments came as she addressed the flag-hoisting function of seven units including 2 Infantry Brigade of 10 Infantry Division of the army at Ramu Cantonment. The Prime Minister said significant numbers of modern vehicles, helicopters and arms and ammunition have been inducted in Bangladesh army for further boosting its capability and efficiency.

“In its continuation, there is a plan to establish another division of Bangladesh Army at Lebukhali in Patuakhali to make well-protected our southern frontier… and in this way, we would build Bangladesh Army as a more time-befitting force through speedy and coordinated modernization Insha Allah,” she said.

Describing Bangladesh Army as an “asset” of the country and a “symbol” of the confidence and the trust of the people, the Premier also directed its members to be more professionally efficient and welfare-minded with social and religious values.

“Bangladesh Army is our asset and a symbol of confidence and trust of the people…so, you will have to be more professionally efficient and welfare-minded consisting of social and religious values,” she said.  The Premier also advised the members of Bangladesh Army to discharge their responsibility by maintaining “discipline” and keeping trust in the “senior leadership”.

“I believe that you would maintain discipline and accomplish your tasks by working with utmost sincerity, mutual trust, dutifulness, sympathy and goodwill by keeping confidence in the senior leadership,” she said.  She said the flags of the seven units including 2 Infantry Brigade of the 10 Infantry Division were raised today to give a “complete shape” to the 10 Infantry Division.

“I hope that every member of the newly-formed brigades and units would help increase the strength of the division being inspired with patriotism,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said today is a “blissful day” as she witnessed a “matured outlook” of the newly-constituted garrison with one year of its establishment.

“When I raised the flag of the 10 Infantry Division one year back, there were no necessary installations. But the complete outlook of the garrison that I observed within the gap of a year has assured me,” she said.  The Prime Minister said this area got a “new lease of life” in socioeconomic uplift including infrastructural development through establishment of the cantonment.

She said approval has been given to set up a cantonment public school inside the Ramu cantonment. “The establishment of Ramu Cantonment has created a hope among the people of the region,” she remarked.  Paying rich tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Premier said Bangbandhu had realized the necessity of a “developed” and “professional” army.

That’s why Bangbandhu said giving directives in 1974 that “Padma, Meghna and Jamuna rivers have divided the entire country into three parts, and accordingly, the army will have to be engaged in three independent and capable commands.”  To execute Bangabandhu’s plan, the PM said, her government since 1996 took steps to raise “moral and psychological strength” as well as professional knowledge of every member of the army side by side with its infrastructural development.

In this light, we founded the National Defence College (NDC), the Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), the Bangladesh Institute for Peace Support Operations & Training (BIPSOT), NCO’s Academy, Bangladesh Infantry Regimental Center (BIRC),” she said.

After assuming office in 2009, she said, her government adopted the Forces Goal-2030 to continue the trend of implementation of the Defence Policy 1974 framed by Bangabandhu.
“As part of implementing the goal, we have already established the 17 Infantry Division in Sylhet, the 10 Infantry Division in Ramu and a Composite Brigade for security and supervision of the Padma Bridge Project,” she said.

Pointing out her government’s aim to establish a prosperous and developed Bangladesh, she said the country has set an example in achieving millennium development goals. “In the same way, we all have to work unitedly to implement the sustainable development goals,” she said. The Prime Minister asked members of the army who passed very hard time in developing the 10 Infantry Division to remain pledge-bound to transform the division into an “exemplary division” in terms of operational, administrative and training standard with professionalism.

Pointing to the landmark CHT Peace Treaty and winning the maritime boundary cases with Myanmar and India, Sheikh Hasina said her government has established Ramu Cantonment to protect sea resources as well as maintain peace and stability in the CHT region.

Earlier, on her arrival at the parade ground of the Ramu Cantonment, the Prime Minister was received by Chief of Army Staff General Abu Belal Mohammad Shafiul Huq and GOC of the 10 Infantry Division Major General Ataul Hakim Sarwar Hasan.  During the time, a smartly turned-out contingent of the 10 Infantry Division gave a state salute to the Prime Minister.

The Premier also inaugurated a road being constructed by the 10 Infantry Division titled “Bir Sarani”, memorial “Ajeyo” commemorating the division, a multipurpose shade “Birangan” and a composite barrack named “Matamuhuri” built at Alikadom cantonment.  She also laid foundation stones of four SM Barracks to be constructed at the Ramu Cantonment. She also signed the visitor’s book at the cantonment.

Ministers, PM’s Security Advisor Major General (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, parliament members and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.

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