Bangladesh Army emerged during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. The mission of Bangladesh Army is to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bangladesh. In addition to its primary mission, the Bangladesh Army is also assisting the civilian government during times of national emergency.
Role of Bangladesh Army
Bangladesh Army intends to build a well trained and well-equipped deterrent land force to meet the traditional and non-traditional threats and challenges of 21st century. However, the roles of Bangladesh Army are:
· To defend sovereignty and territorial integrity.
· To plan and develop the mobilization of civil resources in support of land operations.
· To aid the civil administrations in maintenance of internal security and law and order situation, when assigned.
· To assist the civil administration in managing the disasters and natural calamities, when requested.
· To take part in nation development activities as and when asked for.
· To support United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.
· To take part in coalition operations with other nations if authorized by the parliament.
Achievement and Contribution
Achievement and contribution of Bangladesh Army has to be traced back through 5 broad categories of operational engagements. These are Internal Security Operations, Counter Insurgency Operations (CIO) in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), infrastructure and nation building activities, role in disaster management and UN peace keeping operations.
Nation Building Activities and In Aid of Civil Power
Bangladesh Army has made commendable contributions in number of nation building activities assigned by government and could earn trust and confidence of common mass. It includes preparation of voter list with picture and National ID cards, Machine Readable Passport, construction of roads, flyover, underpass etc. So far, Bangladesh Army carried out good number of internal security operations in aid to the civil administration to bring back normalcy in life. Besides, in the wake of any disaster like flood, cyclone, earth-quake, building collapse and accidental fire incidents etc, Bangladesh Army provides the quickest support to the affected people.
Chittagong Hill Tracts Conflict
At the outbreak of the insurgency in CHT, the Government of Bangladesh deployed the army to fight CIO. In the process of fighting, many officers and men sacrificed their valuable lives for their utmost dedication and patriotism which led to exemplary counter insurgency conflict termination in South Asia. Due to remarkable contribution of Bangladesh Army in the field of maintenance of security and socio-economic development of CHT, long conflict of more than two decade ended with the signing of CHT Peace Accord in 1997 between the government and the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS). At present army is performing the role of post-CIO in order to support government machinery to perform its normal activities.
Contribution to UN Peacekeeping Operations
The Bangladesh is actively involved in a United Nations Peace Support Operations under Blue Helmets since 1988. By this time Bangladesh Army has completed 50 missions in 40 countries. At present 7,085 peacekeepers from Bangladesh Army are deployed in 10 Missions of 10 different countries. Besides establishing world peace, our peacekeepers are earning huge amount of foreign remittance that contributes towards maintaining and increasing the growth rate of our National economy. In search of world peace, our peacekeepers dive deep in fathomless darkness; and they sacrifice their valuable lives. Till now 124 Bangladeshi peacekeepers have embraced martyrdom and many of our peacekeepers were injured.
Bangladesh Army has come a long way since its transformation from a non-descript entity to a credible defence forces in this sub-continent. As an institution, the Army today is self-confident and self-contained, with tremendous potentials to sustain growth, expansion and modernization. Army as deterrent land force is capable to meet the traditional and non-traditional security threats of 21st century in order to maintain territorial integrity of Bangladesh.