Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said that the country will not look back and continue to forge ahead to become a developed country. "Today, Bangladesh has got the recognition of a developing country.
But, we want to advance more. Bangladesh will never look back again, rather it will continue marching to be a smart, developed and prosperous country," she said while addressing Ansar and Village Defence Party (VDP)'s 43rd National Assembly at the academy in Shafipur, here.
Referring to her government's initiative for developing the country's information technology sector, she said: "I assure this Bangladesh will be a smart Bangladesh."
She said that the Covid-19 pandemic created a huge pressure on the economy in the international arena, while the Ukraine-Russia conflict caused economic recession around the globe.
The Prime Minister urged the members of Ansar and VDP to counter militancy and terrorism, "organised by Jamat-BNP and their associates". Hasina said that members of Ansar and VDP are playing a great role in combating militancy and terrorism in the country.
"Members of Ansar and VDP have worked sincerely in their respective areas when BNP started arson attacks on rail, bus, launch and people and protected the country and people from the arson terrorism of BNP hooligans," she said.
Do not forget that the country was liberated in exchange for huge blood in the Liberation war, the Prime Minister said. Hasina also asked all to ensure every left-out arable land is brought under cultivation process, saying, "I urge all to follow the footsteps of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman not to leave a single inch of arable land uncultivated."
"I hope that you (Ansar and VDP) will contribute to that. Ansar and VDP can play a special role. You can train the rural people and engage them in various cultivation activities to produce crops and preserve those," she said.
"We can realise the necessity of the forces and as we can realise, we carry out development activities for all organisations whenever Awami League comes to power," she said, adding that "We are working in such a way."
Hasina lauded the Ansar and VDP as it is also contributing to sports and getting prizes as well. The prime minister handed over different medals in eight categories to 180 Ansar and VDP members for their outstanding contribution to their respective fields.
She also mentioned that her government has taken many initiatives for the Ansar and VDP so that it can move ahead in tune with the time. She said AL government has enacted new law for Ansar and VDP, introduced combat uniforms, established bank and welfare trust with seed money, made battalion Ansar permanent, gave national standard to the Ansar and VDP for the first time and made upgradation of grade and promotions.
She also said her government has arranged foreign training for Ansar, formed specialised guard battalion, established modern facilities in 15 battalions headquarters, providing monthly allowances to company commander and platoon commanders, increased allowance for general members of Ansar and VDP as well as established different types of infrastructures for the force.