Armed Forces Day observed

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday asked the members of the armed forces to maintain discipline and said that her government would take all necessary steps to make them disciplined and modern. ‘Our government wants to see disciplined, skilled, modern and well-equipped armed forces… to this end, the government will do whatever is required,’ Hasina, also the defence minister, told a reception hosted at the Sena Kunja in Dhaka Cantonment on the occasion of Armed Forces Day. On this day during the Liberation War in 1971, the Bangladesh Armed Forces, comprising the army, navy and air force, came into being and launched an all-out attack on the Pakistani occupation forces. Addressing the reception, Sheikh Hasina also announced that the army would get two more infantry divisions.

‘The installation of new infantry division in Ramu is underway while another will be set up in southern part of the country,’ she said. About two lakh regular troops now work under eight infantry divisions in Savar, Bogra, Ghatail, Chittagong, Comilla, Jessore, Rangpur and Sylhet while the Army Training and Doctrine Command in Mymensingh has been facilitating training and consequent operational standards. The prime minister highlighted the development works that she during her current and previous tenures in office and her father founding president of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had undertaken for modernising the armed forces. Apart from acquiring two submarines from China by 2016, the prime minister said two corvettes and large patrol crafts and a fleet tanker would be added to the navy fleet. Hasina said all Khash land in Jahajjachar in Noakhali had been leased to army for planned forestation.

The process of leasing land and installing naval base and submarine terminal in Patuakhali and Cox’s Bazar was underway, Hasina said, adding initiative has been also taken to build up ‘Bangabandhu Complex’  at Bangladesh Air Force Academy in Jessore. She detailed her initiatives for the housing facilities for retired and serving military officers.  The activities for Jalsiri housing project would begin soon, she added. Three multi-storey buildings had been built in Mirpur defence housing area to provide flats to the 56 family members of officers killed in Bangladesh Rifles mutiny on February 25-26, 2009. Cabinet members, politicians, dignitaries, foreign diplomats, professionals and family members of officers attended the reception. Earlier, attending another reception hosted for decorated freedom fighters, Hasina elaborated how her government was working for the betterment of the freedom fighters and said that freedom fighter complex would be built in each of 64 districts. The day was observed with due solemnity and enthusiasm in the military establishments across the country.

The day’s programmes began with the offering of special prayers after Fazr prayer at all mosques in all the army cantonments, naval and air force bases throughout the country seeking divine blessings for the wellbeing and prosperity of the nation and progress of the armed forces. In the morning, the president and the prime minister and the chiefs of three services placed wreaths at the Shikha Anirban at Dhaka Cantonment paying homage to the members of the armed forces who laid down their lives in the country’s Liberation War. The chiefs of the three forces made a courtesy call on the President at Bangabhaban and the Prime Minister, who is also the defence minister, at the AFD at Dhaka Cantonment later in the day. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, was invited to the reception, but she did not attend. Her party’s representative, former army chief, general Mahbubur Rahman joined the function.

- See more at: