Peace essential for development: Hasina

Highlighting the role of Ansar and VDP in curbing terrorism and militancy in Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday stressed the need for maintaining a peaceful environment for the development of the country.

“Bangladesh is a peaceful country. We believe in peace. And if the peaceful environment prevails, the country will continue to prosper,” she said while addressing the 42nd national rally-2022 of Bangladesh Ansar and Village Defense Party (VDP).

The Prime Minister virtually joined the function at Bangladesh Ansar and VDP Academy in Shafipur of Gazipur, from her official residence Ganobhaban.

She said the development of Bangladesh means development of every family. “We want every family to lead a decent life. This’s why it’s essential to maintain a peaceful environment,” she added.

Hasina said her government wants to build the country as terrorism- and militancy-free Bangladesh. “In this case, our Ansar and VDP have been playing a special role also in eradicating terrorism, militancy, extremism and fanaticism,” she added.

Noting that the government is going to form Ansar Welfare Trust Fund for the wellbeing of its members, the PM said she will manage the seed money for the trust fund.

At the function, the Prime Minister received the salute from a spectacular parade of Ansar and VDP members.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, on behalf of the Prime Minister, handed over special medals to 162 Ansar and VDP members under eight categories in recognition of their bravery and praiseworthy services.

The medals are Bangladesh Ansar Medal, President Ansar Medal, Bangladesh VDP Medal, President VDP Medal, Bangladesh Ansar Service Medal, President Ansar Service Medal, Bangladesh VDP Service Medal and President VDP Service Medal.

Senior Secretary of Public Security Division Md Akhter Hossain also spoke at the function, while Director General of Bangladesh Ansar and VDP Major General Mizanur Rahman Shameem delivered the welcome speech.

Sheikh Hasina urged the Ansar and VDP members to make collective efforts for the continuation of the ongoing development in the country. “We’re taking Bangladesh forward… So, I expect you to make collective efforts so that the advancement of Bangladesh continues.”

The Prime Minister said her government has taken various programmes, including the “My House My Firm” scheme, to ensure the overall development of the country.

Since Ansar and VDP members are trained on cooperatives, they were engaged in the “My House My Firm” programme, she said, adding that now many families have been able to become economically solvent and lead a better life, getting engaged in this cooperatives scheme.

The project is greatly contributing towards alleviating poverty and also accelerating the economic development pace of the country, she added.

The PM praised the Ansar and VDP men for their proper role in resisting the 2013-2014 arson violence unleashed by BNP-Jamaat jote, as well as huge contribution to ensuring security to important places and persons, including the airports, CHT area and diplomatic zones and diplomats, important persons, private industrial factories and office. “In the case of ensuring security, Ansar and VDP have been making enough contributions,” she said.

Hasina cited different activities taken by her government, including modernisaiton of promotion and posting systems, and training, introduction of ration facilities, separate uniforms, introduction of medals in recognition of performance and regularizing the service of battalion Ansar.

At the function, the Prime Minister opened newly completed development projects for the Ansar and VDP. The projects are ‘Mujib Prangan’ (Mujib Premise) and Central Mosque (both were constructed) in the Ansar and VDP Academy, Classroom-cum-kitchen dining Bhabans in nine districts, Mymensingh Range Commander’s Office, Feni District Commandant’s Office, and its four model upazila offices.

Source: United News of Bangladesh