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Dhaka Tribune

PM Hasina to navy: We must be strong enough to thwart external enemies

The government has transformed Bangladesh Navy into a true three-dimensional force, says the premier

Update : 30 Oct 2022, 01:17 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said Bangladesh must attain capabilities to protect the country from external enemies even though it is against war.

“We want peace, we do not want war. But to protect the country from external enemies we have to attain capability,” she said.

The premier said this while addressing a program to induct two maritime patrol aircraft (MPA-8322 and MPA-8327) into Bangladesh Navy.

The Bangladesh Navy organized the function at Naval Aviation Hanger at Patenga in Chittagong while the prime minister joined through video conference from her official residence Ganabhaban.

She said the government is preparing all related institutions properly so that they could protect the country's independence and sovereignty appropriately.

“… Keeping eyes on that we are preparing our all institutions properly. So that we could protect our independence and sovereignty,” she said.

 She said since coming to power in 2009 her government has transformed Bangladesh Navy into a true three-dimensional force to protect the seabed, sea, and sky.

“I believe that induction of these two MPAs will strengthen the Navy's aviation capability manifold,” she said.

She said that the government also inducted two submarines -- “BNS Navajatra” and “BNS Joyjatra” in 2017.

She mentioned that work is underway to build a permanent submarine base with modern basin facilities at Pekua in Cox's Bazar to provide safe jetty facilities to submarines and warships at the harbour.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the construction work of “Sher-e-Bangla Base” has progressed a lot to enhance the operational and communication facilities of naval vessels in the coastal areas of southwestern Bangladesh.

She said the government has worked on various infrastructural developments, procurement of warships, and strengthened the operational capacity of the existing ships.

Since 2009, the government started implementing the “Forces Goal-2030” in light of the defence policy formulated by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, she said.

“Our Navy personnel are constantly ensuring the overall security of the maritime area by facing many natural challenges, which deserves appreciation.”

She said the government has already incorporated a significant number of modern warships, helicopters, maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), and submarines into the Bangladesh Navy with state-of-the-art combat equipment and technology.

She also said that the construction of a second hangar with all modern facilities for the operation and maintenance of helicopters and MPA is going on.

The Awami League government is working tirelessly for the socio-economic development of the country apart from developing the armed forces, the prime minister said. 

“We have been able to put the country in the status of a developing one,” she added.

She said that Bangladesh is now the role model of development in the world. 

She said the country has attained self-sufficiency in food production during this period.

“But it is unfortunate that the impact of Coronavirus and Ukraine-Russia war has put its clutches on our pace of development and it has slowed down,” she said.

She also said that not only Bangladesh, but the developed countries of the world are also suffering a lot.

“But with our own resources, land, and manpower we will keep this country protected,” she expressed her firm optimism.

She asked all to concentrate on increasing food production with whatever scopes they have.

The worldwide economic recession has impacted Bangladesh too but "we have to try to get rid of this impact," she added.

“We have to find out the way to utilize our maritime resources in the country's economic development through using blue economy and we have to put special attention to that," she said.

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Shaheen Iqbal gave the vote of thanks.

A short video clip on Naval Aviation was screened at the event.

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