Noted security analyst Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain yesterday urged the government to establish democratic control over defence forces to develop relationship between the military and civilians.
In doing so, he proposed formation of an independent defence ministry headed by a public representative instead of the prime minister, reconstruction of the parliamentary standing committee on the ministry, and implementation of the national defence policy.
He also stressed on ensuring independence of the military within the sphere, and checking political and bureaucratic interference in their functions and duties.
Sakhawat, also a former election commissioner, made the proposals while delivering a lecture on civil-military relationship, organised by Asiatic Society of Bangladesh at its office in the capital.
Unlike other countries around the world, civilian control over the military is yet to be established in Bangladesh, which is necessary, Sakhawat said.
“It is high time that we establish civilian control as enshrined in the constitution,” he said, mentioning previous military regime.
He also suggested to improve coordination among the defence forces to increase their efficiency.
About defence education, he urged the authorities concerned to introduce subjects on military history and strategy at public universities.
“We need more experts, who are civilians, for military strategy,” he added.
Asked whether the proposals are implementable in the current context, the security expert replied in the positive.
“It is all about political intention. If they [the government] have the intent, the proposals can easily be implemented,” said Sakhawat Hossain.
National University Vice-chancellor Prof Harun-or-Rashid and Asiatic Society Secretary Abdur Rahim also spoke at the programme.
Asiatic Society organised the lecture in memory of Shaheed Colonel Jamil Ahmed, who sacrificed his life while trying to protect Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975.