Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday expressed her firm determination to keep up the pace of development, saying that she considers the premiership as a scope to serve the people.
“Running the state and the post of prime minister are not valuable to me, rather it’s a big opportunity for ensuring welfare of the people and changing their lot,” she told a reception on the occasion of the Armed Forces Day-2018.
Sheikh Hasina added: “I’m making strides to serve the people and advance the country further … Bangladesh will surely advance Insha Allah.”
The prime minister accorded the reception to the successors of Birshreshthos, and the gallantry award-recipient freedom fighters of the armed forces at the Army Multipurpose Complex at Dhaka Cantonment this morning.
Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces Division (AFD) Lt Gen Md Mahfuzur Rahman delivered the welcome address at the function.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, PM’s Security Advisor Major General (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddiq, Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat and high civil and military officials were present.
As many as 101 gallantry-award recipient freedom fighters and their heirs including close relatives of seven Birshreshthos joined the function.
The prime minister said Bangladesh is now a role model of development in the world and it has earned the UN recognition of a developing country. “We achieved this honour through liberating the country and many nations of the world now want to follow Bangladesh,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is marching towards development and the aim of her government is to keep up the pace of uplift.
“We will be able to achieve the goal, and crossing many hurdles we started our journey towards advancement and none could halt it Insha Allah,” she asserted.
The premier said Bangladesh is now an independent country and it (independence) was earned in exchange for blood of millions of martyrs.
“Bangladesh is now an independent country which will never fail … we want to reach fruits of independence in every house and we want the people of the country will no more suffer from poverty and hunger,” she said.
Quoting Bangabandhu’s historic March 7 speech, Sheikh Hasina said: “None will be able to suppress Bangladesh … it’s advancing and will move ahead further.”
The prime minister said her government is pledge-bound for ensuring welfare of the valiant freedom fighters and their socioeconomic development.
“It’s not possible to accept for me in any way that the members of the freedom fighters who liberated the country by taking arms in their hands, risking the life and responding to the call of Bangabandhu will remain in miseries,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said she is trying her best so that every member of a freedom fighter can stay well and live smoothly. “I will continue my strides in this regard and I want that you will inform me if you’ve any problem,” she said.
Highlighting her government’s various steps for the welfare of the freedom fighters, the premier said from this fiscal year, Taka 5,000 as Victory Day Allowance and Taka 2,000 as Naboborsho Allowance are being given to each freedom fighter.
She said the government has enacted Bangladesh Freedom Fighters’ Welfare Trust Law-2018 ending long time complicated problems of the freedom fighters.
“From now on, the armed forces freedom fighters, martyred and war-wounded freedom fighters and their heirs will not face any trouble in receiving honorarium,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said various facilities like education allowance, festival allowance and medical treatment at home and abroad and wedding allowance in case of daughter child are being provided to the allowance-recipient freedom fighters.
The prime minister said a project for constructing three thousand pucca houses for the freedom fighters has been implemented at a cost of nearly Tk 300 crore.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has implemented many projects for the welfare of the freedom fighters.
These included Mujib Nagar Muktijuddho Smriti Kendra, preservation and development of war fields, construction of liberation war memorials, liberation war museum and establishing Muktijoddha Complex in 60 districts and 315 upazilas, she added.
The prime minister said it is our responsibility to remember with gratitude the outstanding contributions of the valiant freedom fighters to achieving Bangladesh’s independence.
“We’re firmly committed to preserving the glorious history and heritage of the liberation war so that the generations after generations could know the real history of independence,” she said.
The prime minister said the present government which upholds the spirit of the liberation war has increased the retirement age of the freedom fighter officers and employees.
She also said the government is also providing training and loans to the freedom fighters and their heirs to establish themselves as a skilled workforce. “As many as 34,819 persons have so far received such loans,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina said the great task of safeguarding the country’s independence and sovereignty has been vested in the armed forces.
“Alongside performing this sacred responsibility, the members of our patriotic armed forces have been maintaining representative participation in combating natural disasters, constructing infrastructure and maintaining law and order,” she said and extended her heartiest congratulations to all members of the armed forces.
The prime minister asked the armed forces members to further brighten Bangladesh’s image abroad by discharging their duty with utmost honesty, integrity and efficiency.
“It’s my belief that you will shine Bangladesh’s image further by discharging your responsibility with utmost honesty, integrity and efficiency,” she said.
Earlier, the prime minister presented honorarium cheques and gifts to the successors of seven Birshreshthos as well as other gallantry award-recipient freedom fighters.
She also handed over “Bahini Padak” to nine army members, one navy member and three air force members in recognition to their heroic role in war and peacetime.
Later, Sheikh Hasina visited Combined Military Hospital (CMH) here to see ailing Fazilatunnesa, 70, wife of Birshreshtho Noor Mohammad.
She stayed there for some time and enquired about her health condition from the attending doctors.