Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said Bangladesh as an independent country would live in the community of nations as a victorious one.
“This country is ours, the soil is ours and people are ours. So, with united efforts of all, Bangladesh would be developed as a prosperous and peaceful country in South Asia. People of Bangladesh would live in the world holding their heads high,” she told a reception at Senakunja in Dhaka Cantonment.
The programme was organised to mark the Bangladesh Armed Forces Day-2015.
The PM hoped Bangladesh would be a middle income country much ahead of 2021 and a developed one by 2041. “We will build a golden Bangladesh Inshallah by fulfilling the dream of the Father of the Nation.”
Paying rich tributes to the martyrs of Liberation War, Hasina said people would always remember the contributions of the armed forces in the war.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had taken the responsibility of building a war-ravaged country, she mentioned.
Bangabandhu had established the military academy, combined school, training schools and institutions for development of the training and organisational structure of the armed forces. The very existence of the present armed forces of Bangladesh is based on that foundation, noted the PM.
Lauding the role of the armed forces at home and abroad, the premier said they have brightened the country's image in the United Nations through their relentless services.
Members of the armed forces have earned people's confidence and they are playing a very significant role in building infrastructures and expediting socio-economic development in the country, she added.
Hasina said the Father of the Nation had formulated Bangladesh's defence policy in 1974. In light of that policy, the Awami League government has prepared the Forces Goal-2030 and implementing it in phases.
Efforts are underway to equip the army, navy and air force with modern training and equipment. The government has taken steps to constitute a full-fledged division in the southern part of the country, said the premier.
The government has taken steps to build the navy as a three dimensional force. Two submarines would be inducted in the navy by next year, she told her audience.
The AL government has been continuing its efforts to build modern armed forces and it would continue with this in future, the PM added.
About the country's current socio-economic scenario, she said the poverty rate has come down to 22.42 percent while abject poverty rate has reduced to 7.92 percent. People's per capita income has increased to $1,314.
Bangladesh now exports food. People's life expectancy is 70.7 years. The country's average growth rate is 6.5 percent. Its export has grown by three times while the foreign exchange reserves have soared sixfold, said Hasina.
After addressing the programme, the PM exchanged pleasantries with the guests.
Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice S K Sinha, Leader of the Opposition Raushan Ershad, former president H M Ershad, cabinet members, parliament members, chiefs of the three services, political leaders, professionals and diplomats were present.