London: The 48th Bangladesh Armed Forces Day celebrated in London, marking the founding of army, navy and air force during the War of Liberation in 1971. On this occasion, the Defence Wing of the Bangladesh High Commission in the United Kingdom organised a reception at the British National Army Museum in London on Monday (25 November).
High Commissioner for Bangladesh to the United Kingdom Saida Muna Tasneem and Defence Adviser to the Bangladesh High Commission in London Brigadier General AKM Aminul Haque greeted the guests at the venue, beautifully decorated with colourful banners those highlighted the history of Bangladesh War of Liberation in 1971, founding of the Bangladesh Armed Forces and their works and activities. A digital photographic exhibition on valiant freedom fighters of 1971 gave the celebration a special grace.
Addressing the occasion, High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem lauded the role of armed forces in protecting and building nation besides bringing in a good name for Bangladesh by performing greatly in various global engagements, including in the UN Peacekeeping Missions and Peace Support Operations.
The High Commissioner give a brief account on development in Bangladesh especially in the economic and social fronts that happened under the decade-long leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She said Sheikh Hasina set a unique example in the world by sheltering over 1.1 million Rohingyas. The armed forces in Bangladesh also played a very important role in building roads, houses and distributing foods and other necessary stuff among the displaced Rohingya people.
Referring to the women empowerment in Bangladesh under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, she said that the female members are also working with men in the three services with success.The High Commissioner further said the UK-Bangladesh defence cooperation is at its pick now while the two countries are exchanging training packages on counter-terrorism, disaster response and on different issues of mutual interest.
Defence Adviser Brigadier General Amin in his welcome speech briefly narrated the birth of Bangladesh Armed Forces. He told the audience that the dream of Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to create a Sonar Bangla is now getting into reality as the present government has taken a holistic approach to developing in all sphere of life under the Vision 2041. Forces Goal 2030 has also been derived from the Defense Policy, under which new brigades, three infantry divisions, several naval and air force bases, modern weaponry and platform systems to increase the overall strength of the armed forces have been established.
He also mentioned that the Bangladesh Armed Forces is heavily involved in nation-building activities, disaster management and in internal security in times of need.
Noting that the Armed Forces have attached maximum emphasis on counter-terrorism training, the Defence Adviser said combating terror attack in Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka and Atiar Mohal in Sylhet are widely appreciated. He also mentioned the role of Armed Forces in establishing peace in the south-eastern part of Bangladesh.
Referring to the presence of Bangladesh Armed Forces at the UN, he said our success in the United Nations Peace Support Operations is ranked one of the top troops contributing countries.
At the event, High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem, Deputy Minister of Wales- July Morgan, members of House of Lords, Dean of Diplomatic Forum and Brigadier General Simon of UK joined with the Defence Adviser in cutting a cake. A documentary on the Armed Forces role and the recent development of Bangladesh in different sectors was also screened.
Around 400 guests enjoyed the programme, conducted by Assistant Defence Adviser to the Bangladesh High Commission Lt. Colonel Sohel Ahmed. The invitees included veteran freedom fighters and organisers of 1971 War of Liberation living in UK, Deputy Minister of Wales July Morgan, Members of House of Lords, Dean of Diplomatic Forum, Ambassadors, Defence Advisors and diplomats of different countries, senior military and civil officers of UK ministry of defence, foreign and home ministries, professors from different UK universities including Cambridge, Sheffield, Oxford, Portsmouth, different media personnel and elite members of both UK and Bangladesh-British Community.