12:00 AM, February 04, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 04, 2013

Hasina asks army to protect democracy

Tells senior officials to resist any anti-constitutional activities

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Unb, Dhaka

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the senior army officials to resist any anti-democratic and anti-constitutional activity for continuation of the country's development.
“Stay alert so that no vested quarter can disrupt the country's forward march riding over the army's back. I hope you'll resist any anti-democratic and anti-constitutional activity with your all-out strength,” she said.
The premier was addressing the Generals Conference of Bangladesh Army at Dhaka Cantonment.
Despite many obstacles, she said, her government has brought the war criminals under the trial process, which was not an easy task.
She also called upon all to remain vigilant as anti-state conspiracy is being hatched to stop the trial process.
Laying emphasis on maintaining chain of command, Hasina said senior army officials would have to present themselves to their subordinates as examples of morality, honesty and dutifulness.
She urged them to remain vigil so that junior officers are not victimised by the propaganda of the vested quarters who want to create confusion among the members of the armed forces by spreading baseless information and rumours.
The premier said Bangladesh Army has earned international reputation and unwavering trust of people through their professionalism.
The present government believes in the development, extension and modernisation of Bangladesh Army and has taken various steps in this regard, Hasina, also in charge of the defence ministry, told her audience.
She mentioned that the activities of the draft of National Defence Policy and settling the Army Forces Goal-2030 are under process to maintain the continuity of development in Bangladesh Army.
In this context, Hasina mentioned the recently signed agreements with Russia on purchasing military equipment worth $1 billion, saying these would play a vital role in increasing the capability of the armed forces.
She also said reforms and restructuring at different stages of the army would continue in the future. “These initiatives will boost the combat power and the mobility of the Bangladesh Army.”
Mentioning the contribution of members of the armed forces in the UN peacekeeping missions, the premier said they are brightening the country's image at international level by performing their duties with sincerity and efficiency.
Members of the armed forces are always taking part in facing disasters, constructing infrastructures, serving mankind, assisting the civil administration and various nation-building and pro-people activities, Hasina added.
Defence Adviser Maj Gen (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Chief of Army Staff General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan, PM's Principal Secretary Shaikh Md Wahid Uz Zaman, among others, were present on the occasion.

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