Dhaka, Jul 17 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the government is continuing its efforts to develop the armed forces further ensuring international standards.
“It’s the duty of the armed forces to protect the country’s independence and sovereignty. So, we’ve been carrying out our efforts to develop the armed forces further and make it of international standards one fitting for an independent country," she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a programme marking the 44th founding anniversary of the President Guard Regiment at the PGR Headquarters in Dhaka Cantonment.
Sheikh Hasina greeted the PGR members on the occasion, praised them for showing competence in providing security. “The PGR members are showing good competence. Their role in providing security is praiseworthy.”
Ensuring foolproof security is the goal of the guard, she said adding that the members of this regiment has been performing their responsibilities with high courage and sincerity since its inception being motivated with the policy. “Your honesty, dutifulness and patriotism motivate everyone.”
Focusing on different activities taken by her government for the welfare of the PGR members, the Prime Minister said her government, assuming power in 1996, introduced the guard allowances for PGR members considering their risk and took steps for their training.
Forming the government for the second time in 2009, her government increased the manpower of the PGR and took various measures, including collection of APC (Armed Personnel Carrier) for PGR considering their security issue, she said.
Besides, a 14-storey building is now being constructed for their housing which is expected to be completed soon, said the Prime Minister.
She said Bangladesh will march forward in line with the spirit of the Liberation War and it will occupy a dignified position in the world arena.
“We’re a victorious nation in the war. We want to move keeping our heads high with self-dignity in the world arena as a victorious nation,” she said.
Talking about the development of the country, Hasina said her government passed the biggest-ever national budget of Tk 5,23,190crore. “We’re moving forward gradually. We’ve been able to increase our GDP growth at 8.10 percent. Per capita income also increased,” she said.
Nothing that the government brought down the poverty rate to 21.8 percent, the Prime Minister said her government's goal is to build Bangladesh as a fully poverty-free country.
“We’ve been able to make hunger-free Bangladesh. Now our goal is to make it tree from poverty. We want to set an example in the South Asia by building Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous country,” she said.
On her arrival at the PGR Headquarters, the Prime Minister was received by Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed and PGR Commander Brigadier General Md Jahangir Alam.
PM's Security Affairs Advisor Maj Gen (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Aurangzeb Chowdhury, Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, President's Military Secretary Major General SM Shamim-Uzzaman, PM's Military Secretary Major General Mia Mohammad Zainul Abedin and PM's Press Secretary IhsanulKarim were, among others, present.