Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called for discarding the term “martial law” from military lexicon, saying that it never brought any good to the country or the armed forces.
“We should exclude ‘martial law’ from military terminology as it never brought any good but bloodbath, for the country and armed forces as well,” the PM told the Armed Forces Selection Board Meeting 2020.
Referring to the 19 coups that took place during the military rule of Ziaur Rahman, Sheikh Hasina said a number of officers and soldiers were killed during these coups.
The prime minister said this while addressing a virtual meeting from her official Gono Bhaban residence this morning.
Sheikh Hasina said the armed forces were mostly affected due to the coups that took place after the August 15, 1975 carnage.
She reiterated her government’s goal to further modernise the armed forces and make it time-befitting.
“Our armed forces, where our family members were honourable members, are the symbol of our independence and sovereignty … our aim is to make it more modern and time-befitting and we’re working to attain this goal,” she said.
In this connection, the prime minister spelled out various steps her government is taking to make the armed forces better equipped to safeguard the country’s hard-earned independence and sovereignty.
PM’s Security Adviser Major General (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique; Principal Secretary to PM, Dr Ahmad Kaikaus; Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces Division, Lieutenant General Mahfuzur Rahman; and PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim were present at Gono Bhaban.
Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed was connected to the function from army headquarters, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Shaheen Iqbal was connected from Navy headquarters and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat got connected from the Air Force headquarters.
Paying tribute to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the prime minister said immediately after independence Bangabandhu had taken steps to establish modern and time-befitting armed forces alongside rebuilding the war-ravaged country.
She said her government has adopted the Forces Goal-2030 on the basis of Bangabandhu’s defence policy. The prime minister said her government after assuming office in 1996 established various military establishments including the NDC War College and purchased modern arms and ammunition for the three armed forces in line with Bangabandhu’s footsteps.
“After coming to power for the second time, we took steps so that the armed forces are capable on all sides. We procured army infantry gadget including modern helicopters to increase army’s operational capacity,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government first collected a modern frigate for the navy, as well as submarines and military helicopter. “We’ve turned the navy into a tri-dimensional force,” she said.
Speaking on the development of the air force, Sheikh Hasina said her government first brought the MiG-29 fighter planes into the air force.
The premier also pointed out that her government always attaches priority to training. On digitisation of the armed forces, Sheikh Hasina said the government set up Army IT Support Organisation and Computer War Games Centre.
While talking about the country’s development, Sheikh Hasina requested all concerned to suspend unnecessary and unimportant costs at this moment and keep in mind the amount of money that can be collected amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will only focus on the urgently needed expenditure and will suspend less important costs…We will cover those expenses once good days return,” she said.