The country is set to celebrate Armed Forces Day today to mark the founding of army, navy and air force during the Liberation War.
“On this day during the great war of Liberation in 1971, the Bangladesh Armed Forces comprising army, navy and air force came into being and launched an all-out attack on the Pakistani occupation forces,” said an ISPR statement yesterday.
The day's programme will begin with the offering of special prayers after Fazr prayers in all mosques in the cantonments, naval and air force bases across the country, seeking divine blessings for the well-being and prosperity of the nation and progress of the armed forces.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday issued messages greeting members of the armed forces on the occasion.
“[On this occasion] I am recalling the memory of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who declared the independence of the country on March 26, 1971 ignoring imprisonment,” the presidential message said.
He also recalled the memories of 1971 martyrs, particularly the seven recipients of the highest gallantry award Bir Sreshtha -- sipahi Mohammad Mostafa Kamal, Captain Mohiuddin Jahangair, sipahi Hamidur Rahman, Mohammad Ruhul Amin, Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman, lance naik Noor Mohammad Sheikh and lance naik Munshi Abdur Rouf.
The PM in her message said the Father of the Nation had begun the work of building the armed forces while the incumbent government took all-out initiatives for its modernisation.
Appreciating the armed forces, Hasina said they were also taking part in facing disasters, constructing infrastructures, serving mankind, assisting the civil administration and various nation-building activities.
“Members of the armed forces are brightening the country's image at international level by performing their duties with sincerity in the United Nations peacekeeping missions,” she added.
As part of the celebrations, the president and the premier will lay wreaths at the Shikha Anirban (Eternal Flame) at Dhaka Cantonment to pay homage to the martyred armed forces members who laid down their lives in the Liberation War.
Army chief General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq, navy chief Vice Admiral M Farid Habib and air force chief Air Vice Marshal Abu Esrar will also lay wreaths there.
The PM will meet the family members of the bir sreshthas and other gallantry award winning veterans at the Armed Forces Division at Dhaka Cantonment in the afternoon. She will host a reception at Sena Kunja.
The Jatiya Sangsad Speaker, chief justice, former presidents, leader of the opposition in parliament, cabinet members, Supreme Court judges, chief election commissioner, election commissioners, foreign envoys, high civil and military officials, leading intelligentsia, senior journalists and other distinguished people will join the reception. The state-run Bangladesh Television will air the programme live.
The cantonments in Savar, Bogra, Ghatail, Chittagong, Comilla, Sylhet, Jessore, Rangpur, Khulna and Rajendrapur will also host receptions. Besides, programmes will be organised at different army garrisons, naval ships, installations and bases of the Air Force across the country.
Bangladesh Navy will keep their warships open for visitors at two sea ports and river ports in Dhaka, Narayanganj and Barisal from 2:00pm to 4:30pm.
A special programme titled Anirban illustrating the significance of the day will be telecasted by Bangladesh Television after the Bangla news bulletin at 8:00pm today. National dailies will bring out special supplements.
The ISPR statement said movement of traffic will be restricted today at Dhaka Cantonment from 7:00am to 11:00am and 12:00 noon to 8:30pm to avoid traffic congestion.