Works underway for elevating armed forces standard: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government was working relentlessly to elevate the armed forces standard to international level to safeguard the national sovereignty as she joined the 44th founding anniversary of army’s elite President Guard Regiment (PGR).
“We are an independent country (and) the armed forces have been entrusted with the duty of protecting independence and sovereignty,” she told the ceremony at the PGR headquarters at Dhaka Cantonment.
The premier added: “So, we have been working relentlessly for developing further the armed forces and elevate it to the international standard which an independent country deserves.”
Sheikh Hasina praised PGR’s bravery, sincerity, professional excellence, honesty and dutifulness since its inception and congratulated the members of the elite unit on the occasion of its founding anniversary.
She also prayed for the martyrs of this regiment who lost their lives in discharging their duties, elevating the dignity and status of the unit, founded by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“The Father of the Nation had established the regiment on July 5 in 1975,” the premier said expressing her gratitude to Bangabandhu.
She said the PGR members were like her own family members as “we meet you regularly as you discharge your duties”.
“You are performing your duties with trust, loyalty, discipline, professionalism, efficiency, dutifulness, and sincerity,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina expressed her hope that the PGR members would continue to keep up their high professional spirit in ensuring security of the head of the state and head of the government.
Sheikh Hasina said her government first introduced risk allowances for PGR in 2008, considering the dangers they were exposed to and later turned it into a full-fledged military unit with increased manpower, equipped with hardware like the armoured personnel carrier (APC) for the safety its personnel as well.
Besides, she said, construction of a 14-storied building for accommodating the Guards’ families was also underway inside the cantonment and “it will be completed soon”.
Earlier, on her arrival at the PGR headquarters, the premier was received by army chief General Aziz Ahmed and PGR Commander Brigadier General Md.
A smartly turned out contingent of the unit presented state salute to the Prime Minister, who later exchanged pleasantries with all officers and junior commissioned officers.
She also distributed donations and gifts among the relatives of the martyred PGR personnel, who sacrificed their lives while on duty.
Prime Minister’s Security Adviser Major General (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, navy chief Admiral Aurangzeb Chowdhury, Air Chief of Staff Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat, PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman were among the dignitaries to witness the ceremony.
The other included Inspector General of Police Dr Mohammad Javed Patwary, President’s Military Secretary Major General S M Shamim-Uz-Zaman, Premier’s Military Secretary Major General Mia Mohammad Zainul Abedin, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim and senior civil and military officials.
The prime minister said the country is marching forward with the spirit of the great Liberation War.