'We want to take the country forward more and free it from the hands of terrorism, militancy and graft'
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reiterated her determination to advance the country further by freeing it from terrorism, militancy and corruption.
"We want to take the country forward more and free it from the hands of terrorism, militancy and graft," she told a gala luncheon hosted on the occasion of the winter exercise of Bangladesh Army on Thursday.
Addressing the ceremony at the offshore island of Swarna Dweep in Noakhali’s Hatia upazila as the chief guest, the premier said her government wants the people of Bangladesh to remain in peace and harmony and get a better and beautiful life. "We are working towards to achieve this goal."
In this connection, Sheikh Hasina quoted the some portions of the speech of Bangabandhu at the first passing out parade of the military academy, reports BSS.
The prime minister mentioned that in the speech Bangabandhu had said: "We have brought independence in exchange for blood. This independence will certainly remain In Sha Allah and none can destroy it.
"However, this independence will go in vain, if you cannot bring smiles on the faces of the distressed people. For this, it is my appeal to you to remain on the honest way."
Sheikh Hasina, also the elder daughter of the Father of the Nation, said Bangabandhu had made the comments to the armed forces.
"But these words are not only applicable to the armed forces, but for the entire nation," she said.
The 33 Infantry Division of Bangladesh Army hosted the lunch, where Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed delivered the welcome address.
Earlier, the prime minister witnessed Bangladesh Army’s winter training exercise named "Operation Bijoy Gourab."
Stating that the government is working to build modern, developed and well-equipped armed forces in the country so that they can move by keeping pace with the modern world, she said: "A great task of protecting our independence and sovereignty has been vested in the armed. So, we have taken steps for modernizing the armed forces and making them well-equipped in arms and ammunition and training so they can move in the world keeping their heads high," she said.
Sheikh Hasina pointed out that the members of Bangladesh’s armed forces are working in various UN missions to maintain peace in different trouble-torn areas.
"Naturally they have to work with armed forces of other countries. So, what we
want is that they do not lag behind [other armed forces] and are able to maintain peace wherever they are stationed," she said.
"In order to attain the target, we have taken many initiatives and implemented those [initiatives] … we are working towards developing our armed forces despite our resource constraints."
She said the armed forces are making massive contributions to the country’s development alongside safeguarding its independence and sovereignty.
"Our armed forces are also playing a commendable role in the socioeconomic development in various trouble-torn countries while maintaining peace there," she added.
The prime minister said that her government, immediately after assuming office, took steps to build modern technology-based armed forces. "As we are building Digital Bangladesh, we did not want any organization to trail in this regard."
Putting emphasis on imparting more training to the members of the armed forces, the premier said training is inevitable for any force.
She said her government has allocated Swarna Dweep, formerly known as "Jahaizzarchar" of Noakhali, so that the army could stage exercises and take training there throughout the year.