Bhatiary (Chittagong) : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said besides establishing new structures for Bangladesh Army, a process is under way to procure significant amount of military equipment from various countries including China and Serbia to make Army more modern, time befitting and all-round.
She stated this while addressing the President’s Parade of 71 Long Course and 42 Short Course of Bangladesh Military Academy (BMA).
Hasina mentioned that the government has signed a one billion Dollar deal with Russia to purchase ultra-modern military equipments, which will increase the capability of the army to a great extent.
She also said that new modern Tanks, APCs and Multi-barrel Rocket Launchers have been added to the Army to increase its capability.
Terming Bangladesh Army, awakened with the spirit of the war of independence, as the pride of the nation, the Prime Minister said the Awami League government undertook multifaceted and massive programmes to develop a time befitting armed forces.
To this end, she said, various establishments including National Defense College, Military Institute of Science and Technology, Armed Forces Medical College and Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training were set up during the 1996-2001 period.
Hasina also mentioned that in line of Bangabandhu's defence policy of 1974, the government formulated the ‘Forces Goal 2030’ and as part of this, the government has established an infantry division in Sylhet and six units with area headquarters.
She said that permission has been given to set up a new infantry division in Ramu, Cox's Bazar and the process to set up a new division in the country's southern region is going on.
Apart from these, Bangabandhu Complex has been constructed at the BMA to transform it as an international standard academy with all modern facilities of indoor training for the cadets, she added.
The Prime Minister asked the newly commissioned officers in Bangladesh Army to be always ready to safeguard the country’s independence and sovereignty.
“It should be the first and sole vow of the new officers to protect the country’s independence and sovereignty by sacrificing even their last drop of blood,” she said.
Terming the newly commisioned officers as promising army personnel, Hasina asked them to serve the country and its people unselfishly, saying that they should never turn away from acomplishing their responsibilities.
In this regard, she mentioned that the great responsibility to lead Bangladesh Army in future will be bestowed on them as they have been developed as qualified officers for future leadership.
The Prime Minister hoped that the new officers, trained under well-planned training programmes of the BMA, would be able to appropriately lead the Army with time befitting leadership quality.
Highly praising the role of Bangladesh Army in maintaining world peace, she said the country has been playing very important role to this end through deploying highest number of peacekeepers in the UN missions.
“Bangladesh Army has been able to earn huge appreciation of the world community through acomplishing their responsibilities at home and abroad with efficiency and profesionalism.”
As a result, she said, Bangladesh is well established in international arena as a promising and peaceloving country.
Hasina stressed the need for advancing the Army towards further development maintaining its image and expressed firm optimism that people from any corner of the world will know Bangladesh Army as symbol of peace and prosperity.
Mentioning the members of the Army as an inseparable part of the people, she said they are equallly part of the people’s happiness and sorrow as they aways stood beside the distressed people during disaster and bad times.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the contributions of the Army in establishing peace in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region as well as developing various infrastructures and constructing roads and highways and flyovers, and in preparing voter lists and machine readable passort.
She hoped that the four-year honours course and engineering course to be started at the BMA would play a great role in establishing a modern and well-trained army in the country.
Through the colourful ceremony, a total of 159 cadets including 14 female cadets from 71 BMA Long Course and 17 cadets including four female cadets from 42 BMA Special Course were commissioned to Bangladesh Army.
Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina reviewed the smartly turned out parade and took salute at the impressive march past as chief guest. She also distributed awards to the outstanding cadets.
Battalion senior under officer Md Khaled Hossain was adjudged the best all round cadet and awarded the coveted 'Sword of Honour'. On the other hand, Company junior under officer SM Ziaul Islam received the 'Chief of Army Staff's (CAS) Gold Medal' for his outstanding performance in military subjects.
Meanwhile, Rouf Company received the 'BMA Colour' for the Winter Team on the basis of different inter-company competitions. Later, the cadets formally took oath and were adorned with the rank badges by their respective parents and guardians.
Earlier, Chief of Army Staff General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan and Commandant of the Academy Major General Md Jahangir Kabir Talukder received the chief guest on her arrival at the BMA Parade Ground.