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Steps taken to make Armed Forces global standard: PM

Staff Reporter:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government has taken measures to make armed forces more developed and global standard as they are the symbol of Bangladesh’s sovereignty.
“Armed forces are the symbol of our sovereignty—we have already taken measures to make the armed forces, formed at the hand of my father, more developed and international standard,” she said.
The premier was addressing as the chief guest a programme marking the 49th founding anniversary of the President Guard Regiment (PGR) at its headquarters inside Dhaka Cantonment here.
She said her government is transforming armed forces into a modern force with global standard arms, ammunition, vehicles and required equipment alongside giving proper training to its personnel at home and abroad.
She also said that she had built the National Defence College in 1998 for providing the armed forces personnel with modern and improved training after assuming office for the first time in 1996.
To this end, she said they built the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training (BIPSOT) in 1999.
The premier went on saying that they also built armed forces medical colleges alongside recruiting wom-en to the forces for the first time in 2000.
She continued that they are implementing the Armed Forces Goal-2030 in line with the Defence Policy formulated by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1974.
Bangladesh believes in peace and its armed forces are contributing the most to the UN peacekeeping mis-sions, she said.
The Bangladeshi peacekeepers have won the hearts of the people of those countries where they work for establishing peace, she added.
“So, I am really very proud of you,” she continued.
The prime minister thanked the PGR personnel as they are ensuring security to her defying storm and rain risking their lives and prayed for their safety, security and wellbeing.
“I know my life is full of risks. They, who have come to secure my life, are also taking risks,” she said.
She added that the PGR personnel are performing their professional duties with honesty, dedication, du-tifulness and professionalism.
Considering their risk in performing the duties, the premier said her government had introduced risk allowances for the PGR personnel in 1998.
She continued that her government had launched Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) in the PGR along-side increasing its manpower to enhance its operational capability.
The PGR men were being imparted training at home and abroad to enhance their professional excellence, she said.
PGR Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Khaled Kamal delivered the address of welcome at the function.
In the event, the prime minister handed over the donation and gifts to the families of martyred PGR members who lost lives while performing their duties.
Sheikh Hasina said the professional efficiency of the PGR personnel will enhance further with taking training and using newer arms, ammunition and technologies.
Apart from modernizing the armed forces, she said, her government has taken every possible measure to build a developed and prosperous ‘Sonar Bangladesh’ free from hunger and poverty as envisioned by the Father of the Nation.
She continued that the process of changing the fate of the countrymen started with massive measures taken by her government for the country’s socio-economic advancement since assuming power in 2009.
“We have been able to give electricity to every house and Wifi at the village level. — we have been giv-ing textbooks free of cost to our children alongside giving stipends, scholarship for research and higher education,” she said.
Those who said that Bangladesh would be a ‘basket case’ after getting independence during the Liberation War in 1971, are now describing Bangladesh as a role model for development, she added.
“Nowadays, they cannot describe Bangladesh as a basket case rather dub as a model for development,” she said.
The Premier reiterated that none can push the country back anymore.
“Bangladesh will march ahead with indomitable pace towards the development and prosperity,” she said.

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