Home / Bangladesh / We don’t want war but look for strong armed forces: PM

We don’t want war but look for strong armed forces: PM

We don't want war but look for strong armed forces: PM

Photo: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks at a programme at Senakunja of Dhaka Cantonment marking the Armed Forces Day 2018.

Dhaka, Nov 21 : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the Armed Forces of Bangladesh need to be elevated to such a standard that goes with an independent country.

“We won’t engage in war with anyone. We don’t want war. But the Armed Forces will have to be elevated to such a standard that matches an independent country,” she said while addressing a reception at Senakunja of Dhaka Cantonment marking the Armed Forces Day 2018.

The Prime Minister further said, “We won’t spare anyone if we’re attacked. We’ll resist them till our last breath.”

She said her government has taken all steps to equip every force with modern firearms and training.

Sheikh Hasina said her government formulated the Forces Goal 2030 on the basis of the Defence Policy 1974 framed by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for the Armed Forces.

Mentioning that Bangladesh gave shelter to 1.1 million persecuted Rohingyas on humanitarian ground, she said it continues its efforts to resolve the crisis through negotiations. “Myanmar has already announced that they’ll take Rohingyas back from Bangladesh.”

The Prime Minister also said, “Bangladesh has been able to ensure all the arrangements competently giving shelter to Rohingyas whereas many developed countries face troubles in providing shelter to refugees.”

She thanked the country’s people, particularly the locals of Cox’s Bazar, the administration, law enforcement agencies and Armed Forces, for their cooperation in ensuring accommodation and food for the Rohingyas who fled persecutions in Rakhine state of Myanmar.

About the country’s development, the Prime Minister said her government has been able to bring changes in people’s life as it was re-elected getting people’s mandate in the 2014 election held amid many adversities, arson violence and obstacles. “We’ve been able to ensure their basic rights — food, clothes, houses, medical treatment and education,” she said.

She said people’s fate started to change as the government worked to implement the Charter of Change announced in her party’s election manifesto in 2008.

Noting that the country has now turned into a ‘Digital Bangladesh’, Sheikh Hasina said the people of the whole country now have internet access. “Bangladesh conquered the space by launching Bangabandhu-1 satellite into the orbit,” she said.

She said her government developed roads, bridges and schools massively, settled the 68-year-old land boundary disputes with India, and conquered vast sea areas following the settlement of maritime demarcation dispute with two neighbouring countries, including Myanmar.

Mentioning that the GDP growth rate is now 7.86 percent, the per capita income is US$ 1,751 and the poverty rate is 21 percent, the Prime Minister said the United Nations recognised Bangladesh as a developing country. “We’ll have to keep up this graduation. Our goal is to make Bangladesh a poverty-free country by reducing the poverty rate by 5 percent further,” she said.

PM’s Security Affairs Adviser Maj Gen (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat were present on the occasion.

After addressing the audience, the Prime Minister exchanged pleasantries with the army officials and their family members, diplomats and other guests.