Stay alert to face internal, external threats: PM asks army

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha | Published: 14:41, Nov 23,2016 | Updated: 16:59, Nov 23,2016

Sheikh Hasina

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina poses with senior army officers at a programme in Sylhet Cantonment on Wednesday. — Focusbangla photo

The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Wednesday directed members of Bangladesh Army to keep a ‘constant vigil’ to face any ‘internal and external threats’ for safeguarding the country's constitution and sovereignty.

‘You will have to always remain ready to face any 'internal or external threats' unitedly for protecting the sacred constitution and sovereignty of the motherland,’ she said.

The prime minister was addressing the flag-raising ceremony of the newly-established Headquarter 11 Infantry Brigade along with eight new units under 17 Infantry Division of the Bangladesh Army at Jalalabad Cantonment in Sylhet this afternoon.

Describing Bangladesh Army as an ‘asset’ of the country and a ‘symbol’ of the confidence and the trust of the people, the premier also asked 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, you will have to be more professionally-efficient and welfare-minded consisting of social and religious values,’ she said.

Sheikh Hasina 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.

Paying rich tributes to the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the PM said he had realised the necessity of a ‘developed’ and ‘professional’ army.

‘That's why Sheikh Mujib 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.’

Sheikh Hasina said her government after taking office in 1996 had taken a plan to build Bangladesh Army as a ‘knowledge-based’ professional force in the light of the far-reaching defence policy of Sheikh Mujib.

To execute the 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.

The 17 Infantry Division was founded in Sylhet on September 17 in 2013 and in its continuation, the newly-established Headquarter 11 Infantry Brigade along with 8 new units started their journey today.

Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, agriculture minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader, PM's security adviser Tariq Ahmed Siddiq, chief of Army Staff General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq, quarter master general of Bangladesh Army Lieutenant General Anwar Hossain, PM's military secretary Major General Mia Mohammad Joynul Abedin, press secretary Ihsanul

Karim and high civil and military officials were present.

Earlier on her arrival at the venue, the prime minister was received by chief of army staff General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq, GOC of 17 Infantry Division and area commander of Sylhet Area Major General Anwarul Momen.

A smartly turned out contingent of Bangladesh Army gave salute to the prime minister through a spectacular parade.

After the parade, Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stones of eight permanent projects including division headquarters in Sylhet Cantonment.

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