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Monday, February 4, 2013
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Hasina asks army to protect democracy

Tells senior officials to resist any anti-constitutional activities

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the senior army officials to resist any anti-democratic and anti-constitutional activity for continuation of the country's development.

“Stay alert so that no vested quarter can disrupt the country's forward march riding over the army's back. I hope you'll resist any anti-democratic and anti-constitutional activity with your all-out strength,” she said.

The premier was addressing the Generals Conference of Bangladesh Army at Dhaka Cantonment.

Despite many obstacles, she said, her government has brought the war criminals under the trial process, which was not an easy task.

She also called upon all to remain vigilant as anti-state conspiracy is being hatched to stop the trial process.

Laying emphasis on maintaining chain of command, Hasina said senior army officials would have to present themselves to their subordinates as examples of morality, honesty and dutifulness.

She urged them to remain vigil so that junior officers are not victimised by the propaganda of the vested quarters who want to create confusion among the members of the armed forces by spreading baseless information and rumours.

The premier said Bangladesh Army has earned international reputation and unwavering trust of people through their professionalism.

The present government believes in the development, extension and modernisation of Bangladesh Army and has taken various steps in this regard, Hasina, also in charge of the defence ministry, told her audience.

She mentioned that the activities of the draft of National Defence Policy and settling the Army Forces Goal-2030 are under process to maintain the continuity of development in Bangladesh Army.

In this context, Hasina mentioned the recently signed agreements with Russia on purchasing military equipment worth $1 billion, saying these would play a vital role in increasing the capability of the armed forces.

She also said reforms and restructuring at different stages of the army would continue in the future. “These initiatives will boost the combat power and the mobility of the Bangladesh Army.”

Mentioning the contribution of members of the armed forces in the UN peacekeeping missions, the premier said they are brightening the country's image at international level by performing their duties with sincerity and efficiency.

Members of the armed forces are always taking part in facing disasters, constructing infrastructures, serving mankind, assisting the civil administration and various nation-building and pro-people activities, Hasina added.

Defence Adviser Maj Gen (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Chief of Army Staff General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan, PM's Principal Secretary Shaikh Md Wahid Uz Zaman, among others, were present on the occasion.

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Is it her appeal to army for protection? No Prime Minister NEEDS to utter such NONSENSE to people who are under her command. Army generals are not her bosses but she is their, the Prime Minister, sadly, does not seem to understand that. Or, she is afraid of military coup against her misrule?

: S. Ahmad

Dear Prime Minister, this army has killed two presidents of this country including the founding father of the nation and his family. The chaos and anarchy, indemnity to unlawful activities, lack of respect for democracy, political conspiracy- that we see in this society today- are army's contribution to post 1975 Bangladesh. What we need is strong civil and political control over the army. You should not ask the army to protect the democracy- they are only an auxiliary force. If you- I mean the political process keeps running with the demand of mass people, the mass people will protect the democracy. Strong democracy should teach the army their job: Don't poke your nose in the political administration; this is not your job. Prime Minister, your job is to command the army to bring all ducks on the line when necessary. If you see poppy syndrome disease in the armed forces, your job is to trim that. That's how democracy should work- we have seen this when US President Obama or Truman sacked the Generals for talking tall. Dear Prime Minister, look at Pakistan and South America- army never helped democracy.

: Tarik Zaman


  • nasim khan
    Monday, February 4, 2013 01:40 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    Goes to show how insecure is she feeling right now!! Things could have been so different had AL included stalwarts like Amu, Tofail, and Razzaque. Bad Governance of AL has fortified even meager parties like Jamaat. It is sad to see the demise of a big political party like AL because of greed and Chhatra League.

  • Robin
    Monday, February 4, 2013 01:42 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    Army to protect democracy? You are the PM and your job is to protect the democracy.

    Are you scared of the Bangladesh Army, Madam PM?

  • Anonymous
    Monday, February 4, 2013 01:53 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    It is ridiculous to ask the army to protect democracy. The army is not the guardian of democracy. Army administration is not conducted in a democratic way. It is the politician and the people who are guardians of democracy and they can protect it.

  • Labu Khan
    Monday, February 4, 2013 03:02 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    As election approaches with no chance of any care taker government to be in place, our PM is naturally concerned about another 1/11 situation. An interesting and volatile political situation is ahead. Watch out countrymen!

  • neutral
    Monday, February 4, 2013 03:21 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    Madam, kindly refreshes your memory about the performance of the people to achieve freedom and the sacrifice they made in the process. The army needs the crucial support of the politicians and the people at large to combat any undemocratic move to grab power by any quarters ' ridding on army's back' Therefore, the politicians and the people must be on full alert against any undemocratic take over of the power; mere direction may fail and cause unrepeatable damage to democracy. A political conciliation is perhaps more warranted than keeping the army alert; but definitely not at the cost of secular democracy, trail of war criminals and not rolling back to corruption cases against any political leaders, the prime minister be also prepared to face the political challenge in cool head and through consultative process in-house and following the constitutional dictates..

  • Mohammed U.K.
    Monday, February 4, 2013 03:55 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    The PM has started smelling rats in the armed forces and warning the inevitable. The three senior most generals made statements supporting the billion dollar arms deal has surprised the nation. This seems to be a pre emptive action when criticisms are on rise everyday about the so called deal and its justifications. She seems to be suffering from unknown fears. No country maintains large force of army just to be hired out. Our armed forces must remain neutral and of course outside politics. Probably she wants another 1/11 of her choice to ensure her remaining in power. OUR army is our last hope of saving the republic. Democracy is being stampeded. What we have now is a clear autocracy. Our forex is being spent to import various arsenals to crush dissent voice. The incumbent home minister openly encouraging anarchy and threatening to use lethal weapons to counter democratic movements. Promotions and selections in the armed forces must not be under the whim of an individual in a democratic set up. State authority should not be used to buy party loyalty. We understand what the PM is hinting about.

  • mijanur rahman
    Monday, February 4, 2013 09:43 AM GMT+06:00 (157 weeks ago)

    May be P.M is informed that there may be any discontentment among the Army. It shall certainly disrupt democratic process if anything done by them like Ershad or Safiullah. But Politicians shall be held responsible if anything such happened. She should rectify herself for not such doing.





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