Space For Rent
Sunday, January 31, 2016, Magh 18, 1422 BS, Rabius Sani 19, 1437 Hijri

Prime Minister's call to the army
Published :Sunday, 31 January, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 33

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's expectation that the Bangladesh army will always demonstrate the highest level of patriotism is one which resonates with the rest of the country. Indeed, the prime minister's call draws attention to the very important role the army has been playing in the life of this nation through its continued stress on developing professionalism which meets global standards. One hardly needs to emphasise the very significant contributions the army has been making to peace-keeping missions around the world, to a point where the international community knows that Bangladesh's soldiers are a truly dependable and skilled body of men equipped and ready to be troubleshooters in any trouble spot when called upon.
There have of course been the sad instances in the past when ambitious men who saw nothing wrong in political adventurism tried to make the army a vehicle for a realization of their sinister aims. That phase is now over and in the last many decades the role of the army in development efforts across the spectrum remains an important component of our history. Sheikh Hasina was right to point out that the army was born out of the crucible of war in 1971. Indeed, it was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's aspiration that Bangladesh's soldiers should be highly trained, in the matter of battlefield strategy and intellectual prowess, and demonstrate before the world the truth of their being in touch with the affairs of the world. It is to be noted that the Bangladesh army, or broadly speaking the armed forces, have reached a stage where military officers from other nations around the world undertake training and courses of study at such institutions as our defence staff college. It is indeed a matter of joy knowing that Bangladesh's officers and general soldiers have always endeavoured to bring about a connection between their regular military training and their focus on studies of history in its many aspects. It is forever a matter of great happiness meeting soldiers ready and able to express a worldview. Our men in our army and in the other armed services have had that worldview.
A particular point that we cannot lose sight of is the fact that the Bangladesh army at present is wholly constituted of men and women who became part of it following the War of Liberation. In other words, it is a completely different army, removed from the legacy of the past where a very large number of officers and soldiers were initially part of the old Pakistan army before becoming part of the Bangladesh army, either through involving themselves in the struggle against Pakistan or through joining it on their repatriation from Pakistan in the early 1970s. Today's army, despite being a wholly new narrative, owes a great deal to the sense of dedication and patriotism of those brave Bengali soldiers who unhesitatingly plunged into the war for national liberty. Many of those heroes have been lost in the mists of time, but their valour and commitment to the national cause have guided the army in its mission of upholding and adhering to the cause of democracy in Bangladesh.
The prime minister has spoken for all of us. It is our army, an integral and intricate part of the broad canvas of our sovereign and secular nationhood.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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