Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the Bangladesh Army to remain always ready to unitedly face any internal and external threats for protecting the constitution and the sovereignty of the country.
She was addressing the National Standard award ceremony of four battalions of Bangladesh Infantry Regiment (BIR) of the army in Rajshahi Cantonment.
The PM conferred the award upon the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Bangladesh infantry regiments in recognition of their excellence, hard practice and dutifulness.
Hasina said the army has always extended their cooperation to the government in serving people. “I firmly believe the army will stand by people whenever needed during the tenure of the present government.”
She thanked the army members for playing a significant role in upholding the democratic process by performing their duty sincerely in the 11th parliamentary election.
The PM also expressed her gratitude to the country's people for giving the scope to her party to form the government for the fourth and third terms in a row. “Our government wants to govern the country as the servant of people, not as the ruler.”
She said the army is engaged in nation-building activities like construction of Padma Bridge and Cox's Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive, alongside their main duty.
Hasina said the army earned rare dignity and image for Bangladesh through their sacrifice, sincerity and professionalism in establishment of world peace and different foreign missions, which brightened the country's image.
She said a process is on to modernise the army following the far-sighted guidelines of the Father of the Nation.
The PM said she approved in principle the formation of BIR in 1999 and formally hoisted its flag on April 21, 2001.
“It's the only regiment which was formed after the independence of Bangladesh,” Hasina said, adding that now there are 43 units and two para-commando battalions under the BIR.
The PM said Bangladesh is marching forward and will continue to do so.
At the function, an attractive parade of the four battalions of the BIR was also held.
As the PM arrived at the parade ground, Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed received her.
She inspected the parade riding an open-decorated jeep and took salute. The army chief and the parade commander were also with Hasina at that time.
The PM handed over the national flag to the commanders of the respective battalions.