Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said her government is working to transform the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) into a world standard force to protect the frontiers with modern technologies.
"We adopted the 'Border Guard Bangladesh Vision-2041' to turn it into a world standard and modern force," she said joining a function to mark the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Day-2022 at Bir Uttam Anwar Hossain Parade Ground at Pilkhana in Dhaka.
The premier appreciated BGB performance in discharging their duties with dedication and professionalism in ensuring security to the borders.
She also praised the BGB personnel in checking smuggling of contraband goods and drugs, women and children trafficking, cross-border crimes and ensuring security of the lives and property of the frontier people.
Sheikh Hasina noted as well BGB role in maintaining security and safety at Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar.
"You're playing the role appropriately. But, you have to be more active to ensure a peaceful border," she said adding her government was implementing huge development works to enhance BGB's capacity as part of its reconstruction plan.
On her arrival at the BGB headquarters she was ceremoniously received, given an honour guard while she witnessed a march-past and inspected the guard.
"The BGB (by now) has been turned into an efficient, powerful, modern and three-dimensional force. It is now capable of conducting operations in water, road and airways," the premier said.
She said the reconstruction ensured a balance in BGB's organisational formation with creation of new units, sectors and regions to secure effectively the frontiers, stop border crimes and protect the lives and property of residents in bordering areas.
Smart Digital Surveillance and Tactical Response Team was set up to ensure foolproof security to the frontiers and stop cross border crimes which has enhanced its operational strength, she said.
The prime minister said they have initiated recruitment of 15000 more manpower in the BGB while as many as 34,361 were employed in the force for military purpose and 3344 for non-military purpose from 2009 to 2022.
She added that 922 women were also recruited in the BGB from 2015.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has taken a plan to construct a 1036 kilometres border road to ensure socio-economic advancement of the hard-to-reach frontier areas.
She said the 227-year old paramilitary force had played a glorious role in 1971 Liberation War and its 817 personnel among 12,000 made supreme sacrifice by actively participating in the war.
"Two of them were adorned with Bir Shreshtha Award, 8 with Bir Uttam, 32 with Bir Bikram and 77 with Bir Protik. No other organisation might get such a huge number of gallantry awards for their glorious contribution to the Liberation War," she said.
The prime minister said Subedar Major Shawkat Ali and three other members of the then EPR (now BGB) spread everywhere the declaration of the country's independence made by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
They were later captured by the Pakistani occupation forces and were inhumanly tortured to death, she said.
"I am recalling them with due respect," she added.
She expressed her satisfaction over writing Bangladesh/U in 14,500 different types of border pillars removing Pakistani signs.
The premier said her government is working to transform the country into a developed, prosperous and 'Smart Bangladesh' free from hunger and poverty by 2041 as envisioned by the Father of the Nation maintaining the status of a developing nation.
"You all in unison have to work with sincerity for the development of Bangladesh," she said.
Every people of Smart Bangladesh will use the e-digital system as the country has launched Bangabandhu Satellite-1 and ensured a broad band across the country, she continued.
"We want to advance in every sector by using modern technology to cope with the world," she added.
The prime minister reiterated her call to bring every inch of fallow lands under cultivation to grow more food as Bangladesh doesn't need to seek help from anyone and it never faces food crisis due to the Coronavirus and Russia-Ukraine war.
She asked the BGB personnel to maintain discipline and command chain saying it was of extra crucial importance for any disciplined force.
"Keep one thing in mind. Never breach the discipline and carry out your duties accordingly. Maintain the chain of command," she added.
She described the 2009 incident in the paramilitary force as very unfortunate.
"An unfortunate incident took place (in the then BDR) in 2009, within only 52 days of the formation of our government. The entire nation doesn't want repeat of such incident," she said.
The premier recalled those who were killed at that gruesome incident and prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls and conveyed deep sympathy to their bereaved families.
On her arrival at the BGB headquarters, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Senior Secretary of the Public Security Division Md. Aminul Islam Khan and Director General of the BGB, Major General Shakil Ahmed, received the premier.
At the outset of the programme, the prime minister reviewed the parade riding on an open jeep accompanied by the BGB DG and escorted by the parade commander.
She later witnessed the spectacular parade of the four contingents along with the national flag bearing party of the paramilitary force and took a state salute from the welcome dais.
The prime minister later distributed the BGB Medal, President BGB Medal, BGB Medal-Service, and President BGB Medal-Service for the year of 2022 among the selected BGB personnel for their operational and non-operational contribution.
She later joined a traditional interactive "darbar" of the BGB.