Sheikh Hasina said the government has been working to build a vibrant blue economy by utilising marine resources for Bangladesh’s economic prosperity
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said Bangladesh wants to strengthen its capacity to resist any external attack, not to engage in any war with anyone.
“We don't want to fight with anyone…but if Bangladesh is ever attacked by any external foes, we want to attain the capability to resist it,” she said.
The prime minister made the remark while commissioning three modern warships and two survey ships of Bangladesh Navy at the Naval Berth-1 in Chittagong.
She said the Father of the Nation had formulated Bangladesh’s foreign policy that friendship to all, malice to none. “We believe in that policy.”
Sheikh Hasina commissioned the five Bangladesh Navy Ships (BNS) through a videoconference from her official residence Ganabhaban in the capital.
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The five ships are BNS Umar Farooq, BNS Abu Ubaidah, BNS Prottasha, BNS Darshak and BNS Tallashi.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Shaheen Iqbal, on behalf of the Prime Minister, formally handed over the "commissioning forman [statement]" of the ships to their respective captains at the Naval Berth.
‘Working to build a vibrant blue economy’
Sheikh Hasina said the government has been working to build a vibrant blue economy by utilising marine resources for Bangladesh’s economic prosperity.
“We not only want to protect our sea areas, but also use marine resources so that we can achieve economic prosperity. We’ve adopted the concept of blue economy and keep working on it,” she said.
The prime minister said Bangladesh attained its sovereignty in a vast sea area as the Awami League government took proper measures after assuming power in 2009.
She said the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had formulated the Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974 even before the United Nations adopted the marine law.
But other governments did not take any initiative over the country’s sovereignty in the sea area of Bangladesh in the long 21 years after the assassination of the Father of the Nation, she said.
“Those who came to power killing the Father of the Nation did not take any initiative over it or think of the country’s sovereignty in maritime areas during the next 21 years. When Awami League came to power in 1996, we started working on it,” she said.
An audio-visual presentation was made in the five ships that included two frigates -- Umar Farooq and Abu Ubaidah--, one corvette --Prottasha—and two survey ships --Darshak and Tallashi. Of these, two survey ships were built at Khulna Shipyard.
The captains of the five ships -- Captain AM Shamsul Haque of Prottasha, Captain Gazi Golam Morshed of Umar Farooq, Captain Ashrafuzzaman of Abu Ubaidah, Lt Commander Kamrul Ahsan of Tallashi and Lt Commander Nazmus Sakib Sourav -- received the Commissioning Forman [statement].