Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said Bangladesh is always ready to protect its sovereignty from any aggressive attack, though it believes in peaceful coexistence with all neighbours.
She said: "Our foreign policy drives with the Father of the Nation's introduced key policy 'friendship to all, malice to none'. Although Bangladesh believes in peaceful coexistence with all the neighbouring countries, we’re ever ready for and strongly committed to protecting the country's sovereignty from any aggressive attack."
The Prime Minister was delivering her pre-recorded speech through Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar on the occasion of Armed Forces Day. Other private television channels and radios also broadcast her around 13-minute speech.
She expected the armed forces to earn enhanced professional expertise to contribute more to nation building campaign being imbued with patriotic spirit as it emerged through the process of 1971 Liberation War.
“The armed forces that emerged on a smaller scale in the process of the Liberation War today became a gigantic institution,” she added.
The premier listed elaborately the armed forces role in different difficult situations in the country and troubled regions abroad as a major stakeholder of UN blue helmet missions over the years and its current response in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
The premier reviewed the gradual development and modernization and development of army, navy and air force till date since 1971, particularly recalling the formulation of national Defence Policy by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Sheikh Hasina added: “I firmly want to point out that the quantum of modernization the armed forces witnessed during the tenure of our government, never happened in any period in the past.”
The premier said her government framed the ‘Forces Goal-2030’ keeping consistency with the 1974 Defence Policy and in line with goal the armed forces were organizationally restructured, imparted to improved training and equipped with specialized defence hardware.
She said during her Awami League government two infantry divisions, two infantry brigades, one composite brigade a special works organisation, 10 battalions were raised.
Besides, Sheikh Hasina said, important institutions like National Defence College (NDC), Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training (BIPSOT), AFMC, MIST, NCOs Academy and Bangladesh Infantry Regimental Centre were established during the period.
Sheikh Hasina noted that every year 21st November is being observed as ‘Armed Force Day’ to celebrate the victory in the great Liberation War of the Bangali Nation.
BDST: 2047 HRS, NOV 21, 2020