Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Armed forces to be modernised: PM

$1b arms from Russia to strengthen armed forces further, she says
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said her government is pledge-bound to ensure the overall development of the country as well as modernise the armed forces as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Prime Minister said this while addressing a function marking the 38th founding anniversary of the President Guard Regiment-PGR at Dhaka Cantonment.
Hasina said the Bangladesh Army has been contributing significantly to international peacekeeping missions in a number of countries and the nation feels proud of them as they earned name and fame for the country through their efficiency and relentless efforts.
She said the PGR personnel are selected from efficient army officers as they have to play the key role in maintaining personal security of the country’s President and the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister said she has close relations with the PGR members as she meets them every day and gets amazed with their trustfulness, loyalty, sincerity, discipline and professionalism.
Putting emphasis on sincerity, discipline and loyalty, Sheikh Hasina said an effective chain of command plays an active role in performing any duty in the army.
She hoped the armed forces will be able to go forward in the days to come and solve all the problems efficiently and honestly keeping full confidence in leadership.
Lauding the efficiency, sincerity and dutifulness of the PGR, Hasina said the Father of the Nation established the PGR in July, 1975 which now has become a big separate force.
The premier said she is amazed and feel proud when she sees the dutifulness of the PGR round the clock braving all obstacles.
Considering the workload of the regiment, she said a process is underway to increase its manpower along with modern equipment.
Hasina mentioned the vision 2021 of the government to turn the country into a middle-income digital nation based on science and technology education. “The country’s armed forces will be made time befitting with training and equipment,” she added.
In this context, she referred to the biggest-ever one billion-dollar arms deal with Russia under which Bangladesh will procure arms at cheaper rates and said it will increase the strength of the country’s armed forces.
These modern arms would pave the way for getting more responsibility in the UN peacekeeping missions which will enhance the image of the armed forces.
Highlighting various steps taken for the development of the armed forces, Sheikh Hasina said during its previous term her government initiated to provide rice for the lunch of the soldier instead of ruti (bread) and increased rations for JCOs and the soldiers of others ranks.
Earlier, when she arrived at the PGR Headquarters, a smartly turned out contingent of the regiment presented the guard of hour to the Prime Minister. She visited Quarter Guard and took Salute.
She also talked to the kith and kin of the martyred members of the regiment who were killed during their service in the regiment.

-With The Independent input

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