The demeaning army chief is tantamount to demeaning PM: General Aziz

Bangladesh Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed has said that demeaning the army chief is tantamount to demeaning the prime minister.

He said this while talking to media after a program organized by Army Aviation Group at Dhaka’s Tejgaon this morning.

Bangladesh Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed
Bangladesh Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed

“The rejoinder issued by the ISPR is the statement of the army. Meanwhile, I’m sure you know that … they are carrying out propaganda against an institution like Bangladesh Army, which is the pride of the nation, the pride of the country — so that confusion arises. Bangladesh Army is a well-trained and well-motivated force… more organized than ever before. The chain of command of the army is very effective. Every member of the army has rejected this ill attempt in the past and they are rejecting what’s there at present, and all those who are in our chain of command are aware of it,” General Aziz said.

“I want to assure you, this kind of propaganda will not be able to affect our chain of command. Bangladesh Army is respectful to the constitution, determined to uphold Bangladesh’s constitution, loyal to Bangladesh government and ready to follow any command of the government… the present government and we are constitutionally committed to facing any challenge of — domestic or global,” he said.

While replying to a query over Al Jazeera’s report on his family members and video footage, he said, “I am asking you… the case has been filed against you, there’s punishment, but if you were acquitted yesterday, and if there is no other case under trial against you — can you be called a fugitive today?”

“Can it be said that you are a convict? If a convict is acquitted of the charges, he/she is a free person,” he said.

“There is an explanation of the propaganda regarding my brothers. We will inform you of everything by holding a press conference on behalf of my family. I can say that I, as army chief, am aware of the image of the army, my position, and responsibilities,” he added.

He claimed that there were no cases against his brother when he met him in Malaysia.

“There was a conspiratory case from which he was acquitted in March,” General Aziz said, adding that he went to Malaysia in April.

The Al Jazeera statement was completely ill-motivated, he added.

“Secondly, video footage was captured during my trips to various countries. I think my security, as army chief, is confirmed officially when I am anywhere within official capacity. Wherever I go, the host country does it. I do not think there is any necessity to take any additional security measures there.”

“But if I am on a personal trip, maybe visiting my relatives during transits, I don’t think I should use the official protocol. I think it is wastage (of resources) and I shouldn’t do that.

“After getting our rejoinder, you would understand the purpose of those who are doing these,” he said.

“You have asked, why I am being the target repeatedly. I think I will leave it up to you — you guys find out why Bangladesh Army is being targeted.”

“This army chief has been appointed by the honorable prime minister of Bangladesh government. Demeaning the army chief means demeaning the prime minister. We must understand that,” General Aziz said.

“I am up to speed so that my institution, organization — Bangladesh Army — and our government do not feel embarrassed or face any controversy.”

“What you have heard … they can do it, collecting pieces from different places. But they will not be able to achieve the target. And you (journalists) have already answered them through your writing. So, I am grateful to you (journalists),” he said.

Asked whether any action will be taken against those in Bangladesh, who contributed to the Al Jazeera report, the army chief said Bangladesh Army may not be able to take any action in this regard.

“I am sure, ministries concerned will take action in this regard,” he said.

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