Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said Bangladesh must have a capability of counterattack if the country’s independence and sovereignty come under attack.
Achieving the capability of counterattack is a must to protect independence and sovereignty, the prime minister said adding, “We are very much aware of this and we have already taken many steps to this end."
The prime minister made the remarks while delivering her speech at a meeting with the officials of the Ministry of Defence at the ministry’s conference at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital this morning.
Defence Secretary Kazi Habibul Awal delivered the welcome speech at the function while PM's Security Advisor Major General (retd) Tariq Ahmed Siddique, chiefs of three services and high civil and military officials also attended the occasion.
Stressing the need for building modern and time-befitting armed forces, Hasina said the government has been working relentlessly to strengthen and modernise the armed forces so that they could work keeping pace with the world.
"Our armed forces have to work and maintain contact with armed forces of other countries in the UN peacekeeping missions. So we want to build such armed forces which could keep pace with the world," she said.
Hasina said initiatives have been taken to reform and modernise three services under the Forces Goal 2030 in the light of the defence policy framed in 1974 as per directives of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Underscoring the need for upholding the dignity and image of the country, the prime minister directed the officials of the ministry of defence to work with utmost sincerity so that the country could march forward with the proper utilisation of country’s limited resources.
"A political party comes to power for a particular period, but the officials of the republic remain in their position," she said.
Hasina said they (officials) will have to work with sincerity and devotion to implement the agenda of the government within the stipulated time as the government is elected by giving commitments to the people.
She said every political organisation has a policy and the party which comes to power through mandate of the people wants to run the country as per the policy.
"We have a responsibility for the nation to fulfill the fundamental rights of the people. Whenever Awami League came to power it worked for the people from that responsibility," she also said.
Hasina said implementation of the government decisions depends on the public servants.
“Our government has been working with a vision through undertaking short, medium and long term plans,” she said, pointing out the 6th five-year-plan and the 10-year-long perspective plan undertaken of her government.
Regarding the country’s progress in disaster management, she said the world community considers the country as a role model in facing the natural and other disasters.
Hasina hoped that that Bangladesh would certainly be a developed country by 2041.
"I have firm belief that Bangladesh would not be turned into only a middle income country, it would also be certainly made a developed country soon," she said seeking cooperation of all in this regard.
Hasina as the prime minister delivered her speech in the conference room of the defence ministry where cabinet meetings were held during the period of Bangabandhu government.
It was used as the office of the head of the government even after the introduction of presidential system. The office was preserved after the Awami League government took office in 1996.
Later, Hasina also visited Bangabandhu's room where the great leader had office.