Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday directed members of Bangladesh Army to uphold democracy and constitution and contribute more to building a prosperous Bangladesh.
"The army will have to keep up the trend of democracy and constitution and make more important contributions to establishing a modern, developed and prosperous Bangladesh," she told the 6th Reunion of the Bangladesh Army Engineer Corps at the Engineer Centre and School of Military Engineering (ECSME) at Qadirabad Cantonment in Natore.
Sheikh Hasina also asked the members of Bangladesh Army to keep a "constant vigil" to face any internal and external threats for safeguarding the country's constitution and sovereignty.
"You will have to also remain alert so that the country's law and order is maintained... we want to ensure peace and security of the people and terrorism, militancy and drug don't destroy the society, she said."
The prime minister inspected a spectacular parade of a smartly turned out contingent of the Army Engineering Corps and took salute. Lt Col Fariduddin was the parade commander.
Ministers, the premier's advisers, parliament members, the chiefs of three services and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
Earlier on her arrival at the ECSME Parade Ground, the prime minister was received by Chief of Army Staff General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq and the colonel commandant and the commandant of the ECSME.
The prime minister said her government took various measures for turning the professional armed forces into world-standard modern forces which are inspired with the spirit of the Great War of Liberation.
"We've kept the continuity of the development and expansion of Bangladesh Army by enacting the Armed Forces Goal 2030 in the light of the Defence Policy framed by the Father of the Nation," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the army was equipped with sophisticated arms and equipment alongside establishing new infantry divisions and brigades.
"We've set up armoured, composite and para commando brigades as well as Bangladesh Infantry Regiment," she said. To modernize and make the force time-befitting, she said, modern vehicles, helicopters and arms and ammunitions have been inducted into it.
The premier said the armed forces have set up a unique example in assisting the forcibly evicted Myanmar citizens who took shelter in Bangladesh. "It's further brightening Bangladesh's image in the world," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the Engineer Construction Brigade and the Div Engineer Battalion have already been formed, while a process for formation of the RE Battalion and the Div Engineer Battalion is underway.
Later, the prime attended the annual commanders' conference of the Army Engineer Corps.
PM opens, lays foundation stones of 33 schemes in Rajshahi
Later in the afternoon, Sheikh Hasina also opened 21 development projects and laid the foundation stones of 12 other schemes, including eight new police stations of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police.
The premier inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of the projects by unveiling their plaques from Madrasa Maidan in Rajshahi.
Later, a munajat was offered seeking continued peace, progress and prosperity of the nation.
The schemes opened are: the four-storey academic building of Bangabandhu Degree College at Boalia, the five-storey academic building of AHM Qamaruzzaman Degree College in Boalia, the four-storey academic building of Damukura Hat College in Paba, the four-storey academic building of Arani Degree College in Bagha, the four-storey academic building of Abdul Karim Government Degree College in Tanore, the four-storey academic building of Baghmara Degree College in Baghmara, the four-storey academic building of Biraldaha College in Puthia, Chandrima police station, Kashiadanga police station, Katakhali police station, Paba police station, Karnahar police station, Damukura police station, Belpukur police station, Airport police station, a rubber dam in the Barnoi river, Rajshahi (North) Fire Service Station, Rajshahi Naohata Fire Service Station, Engineering and Survey Institute, the extension administrative building and hall room of Godagari Upazila Complex and the office of the Divisional Narcotics Control Department.
The projects of which the foundation stones were laid are: the six-storey female dormitory of Rajshahi Government Mohila College, Kashiadanga 33/11 KV Power Sub-Station, Meherchondi 33/11 KV Sub-Station, a 324.50 metre flyover on Rajshahi-Natore Highway, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre, a 96-metre PSC Girder Bridge on the Baral River in Charghat upazila, Baragachhi and Rajabari Union Land Offices in Godagari upazila, Charghat and Nandangachhi Union Land Offices in Charghat upazila, the administrative building of Rajshahi Medical University, the Union Health and Family Welfare Centre in Durgapur upazila and the academic building of private Shah Makhdum Medical College.
Hasina, also the Awami League president, later addressed a public meeting organised by the party at Madrasa Maidan.