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Bangladesh upgrades its top military brass


Dhaka : In a significant strategic development, Bangladesh has upgraded its military top brass and will have its first four-star general.

In the across the board promotions announced Thursday, Army Chief Lt Gen Moeen U. Ahmed will become a full general – after the investiture ceremony scheduled for Saturday.

Ahmed had only two days back ruled out a military takeover and maintained that the armed forces were "subservient to civilian authority".

In an apparent attempt to refute the widespread perception at home and abroad that the interim government of Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed is "military-guided", he also said he had no political ambitions and no plans to play a role beyond the army.

His observations, and that the government was working to hold general elections as early as possible, were welcomed by mainstream political parties.

In the promotions, air chief Vice Marshal S.M. Ziaur Rahman has been promoted to air marshal while navy Chief Rear Admiral Sarwar Zahan Nizam has been upped to vice-admiral, reported the Daily Star.

Besides, three major generals have been promoted to lieutenant general, while three brigadier generals have become major generals.

Bangladesh's armed forces, especially the army, separated from those of Pakistan in 1971, have a record of intervening in governing and ushering in phases of military or military-guided rule between 1975 and 1990.

The Bangladesh Army's current strength is more than 200,000 personnel, Bangladesh Air Force consists of more than 7,000 personnel and Bangladesh Navy has 14,950 personnel as per unofficial statistics.

Amongst the other promotions, Principal Staff Officer (PSO) Major General Mohammad Zahangir Alam Chowdhury has been elevated to lieutenant general and made quartermaster general.

Commandant of the National Defence College (NDC) Major General Abu Tayeb Mohammad Zahirul Alam has also been upgraded to lieutenant general.

Chief of the 9th Division Major general Masud Uddin Chowdhury has been promoted to lieutenant general with new positing as PSO of the Armed Forces Division.

Deputy Director General of DGFI Brigadier General Golam Mohammad has been made Director General of the Forces Intelligence on promotion as major general.