Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said her government is collecting ultra-modern and time-befitting war weapons to build the professional and powerful armed forces.
"We're collecting ultra-modern and time-befitting war weapons for each force---We're working to build the armed forces as professional and powerful as envisioned by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," she said
The prime minister was addressing a ceremony as the chief guest at the parade ground of Bangladesh Military Academy (BMA), Bhatiary, Chattogram marking the President Parade-2022 of the passing out cadets of the 83rd BMA Long Course.
She said her government is implementing the Forces Goal-2030 formulated in line with the Defence Policy-1974 by the Father of the Nation to build a time-befitting technology knowledge based military force.
To make the defence system more strengthened, she said her government has established three infantry divisions, three brigades and 58 small and large units across the country and set up Sheikh Russel Cantonment at Jazira while works are on to build cantonments in Mitamine, Rajbari and Trishal.
The prime minister reiterated that her government is pursuing establishment of peace across the globe, saying, "We want peace, not war. The Father of the Nation formulated the policy "Friendship to all, malice to none" and we're following it appropriately.”
She asked the new army officer cadets to serve the country and uphold the spirit of the War of Liberation being imbued with patriotism.
Referring to Bangabandhu's speech at the concluding ceremony of first batch's training at the BMA on January 11, 1975, Sheikh Hasina called upon the young military officers to develop them as professionally competent, morally motivated and patriotic.
She extended her best wishes and greetings to all the new officers and said by taking oath today they (fresh cadets) are entrusted with serving the country and its people.
Mentioning that Bangladesh army has been able to earn the acclamation of all quarters through their efficiency and professionalism in discharging duties at home and abroad, she urged the new cadets to uphold the dignity.
The prime minister said her government has been able to transform Bangladesh into a developing nation by implanting the Vision-2021 and is now pursuing materialisation of the Vision-2041 to build Bangladesh as a prosperous and developed country by 2041.
"We will build Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous country by 2041 and the new officers will be the soldiers of 2041 who will transform Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country within the timeframe," she said.
Assuming power after 21 years in 1996, she said that the Awami League government adopted the development and modernisation plan for the Armed Forces.
She said they have established National Defense College and Military Institute of Science and Technology in 1998 while Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations Training and Armed Forces Medical College in 1999.
In addition, she said they've established Bangladesh Peace Building Center in 2016 and formulated 'National Defence Policy, 2018.
The prime minister said her government is working to turn Bangladesh Military Academy (BMA) into a state-of-the-art organisation as dreamt by the Father of the Nation.
She also noted that BMA appeared a successful training institute for the officer cadets of Bangladesh Army in providing advanced training and developing capable leadership.
The premier said her government has taken a landmark decision to appoint female officers in the first long-term course in the army in 2000 and to recruit the first female soldiers in 2013 to ensure women's empowerment and participation in development activities.
She said the Father of the Nation, through his foresight, realized the immense importance and necessity of the well-developed and professional armed forces suitable for an independent-sovereign country.
In this connection, she said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman inaugurated the Bangladesh Military Academy (BMA) in Cumilla Cantonment in 1974 with the aim of building a trained, strong and efficient army.
Sheikh Hasina said her two brothers Sheikh Kamal and Sheikh Jamal were members of Bangladesh Army, adding that Sheikh Jamal joined the army completing regular training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
The prime minister said her 10 years old youngest brother Sheikh Russel wanted to be an army officer, but his desire isn't fulfilled as he along with most of his family members were assassinated on August 15 in 1975.
At the outset of the programme, the invaluable and visionary speech delivered by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Cumilla BMA on January 11, 1975 was aired.
Earlier, on her arrival at the BMA Parade Ground, the prime minister was received by the Chief of Army Staff, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Army Training and Doctrine Command (ARTDOC), the Chattogram Area Commander of Bangladesh Army and also GOC of 24th Infantry Division and the BMA Commandant.
The prime minister took salute and reviewed an impressive march-past as the chief guest at the parade ground.
She was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed and BMA Commandant Major General SM Kamrul Hassan while she reviewed the parade riding in an open jeep.
At the function, the passing-out cadets formally took oath.
Battalion Senior Under Officer of the 83rd BMA Long Course LabibJohair Noor Anan received the coveted "Sword of Honour" as the best all-around cadet, while Company Senior Under Officer SM Jahirul Islam Niloy got the "Army Chief Gold Medal" for the best performance in military subjects.
The prime minister handed over the "Sword of Honour" and the "Army Chief Gold Medal" to them for their outstanding performance.