Construction of Padma Bridge with own funds brightens country’s image: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the decision to build the much-anticipated Padma Multi-Purpose Bridge, which is due to open to traffic on June 25, has boosted the country’s image in the world, BSS reports.

“The decision to build the Padma Bridge with its own funds has brightened the country’s image in the world and also boosted the nation’s confidence,” she said on Monday.

The Prime Minister was addressing the Army-2022 Selection Committee meeting at the Army Headquarters Multi-Purpose Complex at Dhaka Cantonment.

The World Bank stopped funding the construction of the bridge without holding a board meeting with the connivance of a person making a false allegation of corruption which later turned out to be baseless, the Prime Minister’s press secretary has said. Minister Ihsanul Karim to journalists quoting Sheikh Hasina.

“We have to go forward with self-confidence maintaining the economic status (Bangladesh has gained recognition as a developing country among the least developed countries) that we have achieved,” the prime minister said.

Referring to the various social and nation-building activities of the army, she said that the Bangladesh army has always contributed to the overall development of the country, including the construction of infrastructure.

The prime minister called on the army to win the trust of the masses through their activities.

She said everyone, including the armed forces, the police and the BGB, stood with the people in their difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

On government measures regarding mitigation and adaptation of the impact of climate change, she said that they have built apartments at Khuruskul in Cox’s Bazar to provide shelter for climate refugees.

She reiterated that no one will be left landless or homeless across the country as her government has provided free land for houses.

The Prime Minister said that Bangladesh is the only country in the world from where Allied forces have returned to their country within three months under the dynamic leadership of Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Referring to the discrimination between then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and West Pakistan in all sectors, especially in government services, she said that only one Colonel from the former East Pakistan was in Pakistani military services.

“But, now the generals are in the Bangladesh Army and this is made possible because Bangladesh has gained independence,” she said.

The Prime Minister said officers with professional skills, excellence, honesty and patriotism should be promoted to enhance their leadership ability beyond their personal likes and dislikes.

“You should bear in mind that the selection of professionally effective leadership is possible through a neutral assessment and you should value high character for promotion. I hope you will discharge your duties with honesty and dedication,” she said.

Officers with strong mentality, honesty and other leadership qualities with loyalty are qualified for higher promotion, she said.

“Thus, officers who have a record of successful leadership in military life should be considered for promotion,” she added.

Mentioning that members of the military always stand with the people, Sheikh Hasina said that they play a very commendable role in UN peacekeeping missions, which brightens up the image of the nation at the World level.

The Prime Minister said the nation’s father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had taken various initiatives including building the Cumilla Military Academy in 1972 to build a developed, professional and trained force soon after independence.

Bangabandhu also formulated a defense policy in 1974, she said.

Her government has continued the process of developing and modernizing the armed forces by formulating the “Armed Forces Goal 2030” in line with the Bangabandhu Defense Policy, she added.

PM Security Adviser Major General (Retired) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Army Chief of Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, PMO Principal Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah and Principal Secretary of Ministry of Defense Golam Md Hashibul Alam were present among others.