Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said her government’s move to construct Padma Bridge with the country’s own money has brightened Bangladesh’s international image as a bold nation.
“Such a bold decision has also strengthened self-confidence and mental strength of the nation,” she said while addressing the Army Selection Board 2022 held at Multipurpose Complex at Army Headquarters in Dhaka Cantonment.
PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim brief the media after the programme.
The premier said that the World Bank abruptly stopped financing the Padma Bridge construction without holding the board meeting and just on false accusations of corruption, which later proved baseless.
She said Bangladesh must go ahead and keep the momentum of economic development achieved over the last decade.
She lauded the significant role the Army members are playing in building infrastructures of the country.
The PM said the leadership of Bangladesh Army has been given to capable, skilled, fit and patriotic officers so the force can contribute significantly in building a modern, developed and prosperous Bangladesh.
She asked the selectors to remember that selection of skilled leadership is possible through impartial evaluation.
In this connection, she recalled the speech of the father of the Nation Bangabandhu ikh Mujibur Rahman in the first President Parade in Bangladesh Military Academy where he had directed the army officers to be honest, courageous and disciplined.
“So you must always make sure that the ideology of the Father of the Nation is reflected among the promoted officers and the leadership of the army must be placed in the hands of the patriots who believe in the spirit of the Great Liberation War,” she said.
She mentioned that honest and loyal officers with strong moral courage and other qualities of leadership are the claimants of the promotions.
“So, the officers who have succeeded in various activities in their army career have to be considered while giving promotions,” she advised.
The PM said that Army is involved not only in defending the country, it is also indissoluble stakeholder of country’s socioeconomic development activities.
She recalled the role of the armed forces, police and BGB alongside the administration and others in facing the Covid-19 pandemic situation and said, they all stood beside the people together.
In her speech, she pointed out deprivation of the Bangalees in the Armed forces during Pakistani regime and said, only one Bangalee colonel was in the Pakistan military service.
“But, now many Generals are working in the Bangladesh Army and it was possible because of Bangladesh’s independence under the leadership of the great leader Bangabandhu,” she said.
Referred to the climate migrants and other poor homeless people and the PM said her government has taken initiative to provide them with houses.
She reiterated her resolve that none will remain homeless in Bangladesh as the government is providing houses to all homeless people under Asrayan project.
Hasina said modern arms and war equipment are essential for making the Army stronger, time befitting and a capable force.
Keeping this in mind, Bangabandhu undertook various initiatives soon after the independence to make Bangladesh Army as the force of the people.
In continuation of this, the premier said, the government of Awami League has been working to develop the Army as the most modern force implementing Forces Goal-2030 in light of the policy of Bangabandhu.
She mentioned that her government has given highest importance to safeguard country’s sovereignty and has included state-of-the art modern and time-befitting war equipment in the Army to keep pace with the developed world.
As part of the efforts for continuous development of the Army, she said, the government has formed three brigades at different formations, and 58 units have been established, while nine organisations have been reorganised, she said.
Hasina said, Sheikh Russel Cantonment has been constructed at Mawa-Jajira ends of the Padma Bridge, while works of constructing new Cantonments at Mithamoin, Rajbari and Trishal are progressing.
She also mentioned the mega projects including Padma Bridge, Karnaphuli Tunnel and Metro Rail.
She said the Padma Bridge will be opened to traffic on June 25 which is expected to contribute 1.2 per cent to the GDP.
PM’s Security Adviser Major General (rtd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Chief of Army Staff General S M Shafiuddin Ahmed, PMO Senior Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah and Senior Secretary of the Defence Ministry Golam Md Hashibul Alam, were present, among others.