She urges Armed Forces to keep up their nation-building efforts
Addressing a civic and military gathering at a reception arranged in Senakunja of Dhaka cantonment on the occasion of the Armed Forces Day 2019, Sheikh Hasina also urged the Bangladesh Armed Forces to continue its role in building the country.
“If peace and order prevail in the country, the progress is inevitable. So, the ongoing drive against terrorism, militancy and corruption will continue. We want to ensure that the people of the country live in peace and safety,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina asked the Armed Forces to continue its contributions towards upholding the democratic tend through their efforts maintaining the maximum sense of responsibility and the discipline.
“I believe our Armed Forces will continue to play their role in building the country following the chain of command and being accountable to the Constitution under all circumstances,” she said.
The PM urged all, including the Armed Forces, to work together to develop Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous country being imbued with patriotism.
Highlighting the socioeconomic uplift of people and progress of the country, Hasina said Bangladesh has already got recognition as a developing country after coming out from the least-developed status. “We’ll have to move forward retaining this recognition (status) of the developing country.”
She said Bangladesh attained 8.13 percent GDP growth in the last fiscal year and 8.20 percent GDP growth has been targeted for the current fiscal year.
Noting that the poverty rate declined to 21 percent now from 41 percent in 2006, the Prime Minister said her government wants to lower the poverty rate further.
“If we can bring down the poverty rate at 15-17 percent, we’ll definitely get recognition of a poverty-free country,” she said.
Mentioning that Bangladesh economy is now enough strong, Hasina said, “We want to stand our own feet. We want to build Bangladesh by ourselves. I want you all to build your own country by working sincerely from their respective position.”
The Prime Minister said the Bangladesh Armed Forces has been playing a role in serving the distressed people in the country.
Alongside protecting the independence and sovereignty of the country, the Armed Forces plays active role in facing any disaster, she said.
“Our armed forces are acclaimed in the international arena in restoring and maintaining peace and stability in the world,” Hasina said.
Many members of the forces sacrificed their lives going to the peacekeeping missions for protecting peace, said the Prime Minister seeking salvation of the departed souls and expressed sympathy to bereaved families.
She said the government wants to make the Armed Forces fit for the 21st century and formulated the Forces Goals and undertook long-term plan for them to this end.
The Prime Minister said Father of the Nation Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman developed the Army, Navy and Air forces alongside rebuilding the war-ravaged country immediate after the 1971 Liberation War.
The Father of the Nation also formulated the Defence Policy in 1974, said Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu.
The PM said she had been forced to stay abroad as refugees after the killing of the Father of the Nation in August, 1975.
When Bangladesh Awami League made her its president, she returned home in 1981 with public support with a conviction to make Bangladesh a hunger-, poverty-free and developed country as dreamt by the Father of the Nation.
PM’s Security Affairs Adviser Major Gen (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique and the chiefs of the three services stood beside the Prime Minister when she addressed the reception.
The function was joined by Speaker DrShirinSharminChaudhury, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, former president DrBadruddozaChowdhury, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda, cabinet members, leaders of different political parties, including BNP secretary general MirzaFakhrul Islam Alamgir and Jatiya Party chairman GM Quader, foreign diplomats, leading figures representing different professions, editors, senior civil and military officials and their spouses joined the reception.
Earlier, the Prime Minister opened the newly expanded and reconstructed Senakunja there.
On this day during the War of Liberation in 1971, the Bangladesh Armed Forces comprising Army, Navy and Air Force, came into being and launched an all-out attack on the Pakistani occupation forces which sped up the victory in the Liberation War.
Since the independence of the country, this historic day is observed as the Armed Forces Day.