Don’t allow militants to use Bangladesh soil: Prime Minister

Mentioning that Bangladesh has set an example in the world with its success in curbing terrorism and militancy, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday stressed the need for continuing the trend so that militants cannot use the soil of this country.

“Law enforcement agencies and the Armed Forces together with a cross-section of people have made this possible, and this trend should continue so that militants get no place of terrorism and militancy on Bangladesh soil,” she said.

The Prime Minister was addressing a function marking the 42nd founding anniversary of the President Guard Regiment at its Dhaka Cantonment headquarters.

On this day in 1975, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman established the regiment.

PGR Commander Brig Gen Md Jahangir Harun delivered the address of welcome on the occasion.

Describing terrorism and militancy a global problem, the Prime Minister said her government has attained successes in curbing the menace.

She, however, said another problem, drug addiction, still lies before the nation. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to gain success in this regard as the government has taken steps to curb it.”

Hasina said all steps have been taken to modernise and enrich the Armed Forces so that their members alongside the police force do not lag behind other countries while discharging their duties in UN peacekeeping missions.

Putting emphasis on gaining excellence through training in all fields by all the forces, she said no one will be able to gain excellence and accomplish any task properly without proper training.

Listing the progresses made in various socioeconomic fields over the last eight and a half years, the Prime Minister renewed her resolute to turn Bangladesh into a hunger- and poverty- free middle-income country by 2021 and a prosperous, developed and peaceful one by 2041.

As the head of the government, Hasina said, she has a close relation with the PGR as she meets its members every day while discharging her duties.

“Your skills, dutifulness and integrity prove that all of you are specially selected and you’re reliable guards. You’re discharging your duties with trustworthiness, loyalty, discipline and professionalism.”

She said it was her government which first launched guard allowances in 1998 while the President Guard Regiment was turned into a more effective and strong regiment through massive changes in its organogram.

Listing various initiatives of her government for the development of the PGR, Hasina said a new multipurpose shed has already been built at Dhaka Cantonment to make effective and facilitate the training activities of the guard members while accommodation problem of the PGR members has been resolved to a large extent through inauguration of the four-storey barrack of PGR by Ganobhaban.

Besides, the Prime Minister said, work is on to construct a 14-storey guard family residential building at Dhaka Cantonment, adding that this is a gift from her to the guard members.

She hoped that PGR members will continue to take training and professional exercise regularly in the context of using newer technologies alongside discharging their duties.

Earlier on her arrival at the PGR headquarters, the Prime Minister was received by Army Chief General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq and the PGR Commander. A smartly turned out contingent of PGR gave a state salute to the Prime Minister.

She also exchanged pleasantries with all the officers, junior commissioned officers and met the family members of the martyred PGR members and handed over gift items and donation to them. Later, she attended a luncheon.

PM’s Security Affairs Adviser Major General (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Navy Chief Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed, Air Chief Marshal Abu Esrar, PM’s Military Secretary Major General Mia Md Zainul Abedin, acting Defence Secretary Akhter Hossain Bhuiyan and PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim were, among others, present.

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