Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said that her government has been taking Bangladesh forward on the development trajectory, maintaining friendly ties with all.
“We want peace, not war. The Father of the Nation said ‘friendship to all and malice towards none.’ We have been following that (the main principle of Bangladesh’s foreign policy) decidedly and taking the country forward on a development trajectory accordingly,” she said.
The premier was addressing the President Parade-2022 of the 83rd BMA long course at Bangladesh Military Academy (BMA) in Bhatiari.
Sheikh Hasina asked the newly commissioned officers to be soldiers for building Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous country by 2041.
“Since we earned the status of a developing country in 2021, we want to build Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous country by 2041. Today’s fresh officers should be soldiers of 2041, who will build the country as developed and prosperous Bangladesh,” she said.
The PM asked the fresh cadets to carry out their sacred duty towards the country, being motivated with patriotism.
“Today you are going to be a proud officer of the Bangladesh Army after the completion of a long training. I believe you will properly perform the sacred responsibility which has been bestowed on you through oath to protect the motherland, and the independence and sovereignty of the country,” she said.
She thanked all members of the armed forces for playing an effective role in every disaster and tough time.
The premier extended her sincere greetings to the guardians of the newly commissioned officers for letting their children serve the motherland.
Focusing on her government’s steps to modernise the Armed Forces including Bangladesh Army, the PM said she established National Defence College (NDC) in 1998, Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) in 1999, Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training (BIPSOT), Armed Forces Medical College.
She said her government was the first to create scope for women to be recruited as army officers in 2000 and as soldiers in 2013.
In line with the Defence Policy, 1974 framed by Bangabandhu, her government designed the Forces Goal 2030 and started its implementation, assuming power for the second term in 2009, she said.
Hasina said her government established Bangladesh Peace Building Centre in 2019, framed the National Defence Policy in 2018, set up Aerospace and Aviation University and modernised Combined Military Hospitals (CHMs).
In order to strengthen the country’s defence system, she said, the government set up three fresh infantry divisions, three brigades and 58 units of the Bangladesh Army.
She said they have established a cantonment in Mawa-Jajira, while the works for setting up new cantonments in Mithamoin, Rajbari and Trishal are underway.
Besides, the process has started for the construction works of Army Aviation Forward Bases in Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar, and Aviation School in Lalmonirhat, she added.
PM Hasina said her government has incorporated fresh composite brigade and para-commando brigade in the army. “Sophisticated and up-to-date weapons are being procured for each force,” she said.
Earlier, on her arrival at the BMA Parade Ground, the prime minister was received by the Chief of Army Staff, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Army Training and Doctrine Command (ARTDOC), the Chattogram area commander of Bangladesh Army and also GOC of 24th Infantry Division and the BMA Commandant.
The Prime Minister took salute from a specially decorated dais and reviewed an impressive march-past as the chief guest at the parade ground.
She along with Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed and BMA Commandant Major General SM Kamrul Hassan inspected the parade, riding in an open vehicle.
Battalion Senior Under Officer of the 83rd BMA Long Course Labib Johair Noor Anan received the coveted “Sword of Honour” as the best all-around cadet, while Company Senior Under Officer SM Jahirul Islam Niloy the “Army Chief Gold Medal” for the best performance in military subjects.
The Prime Minister handed over the “Sword of Honour” and the “Army Chief Gold Medal” to them for their outstanding performance.