He was speaking to newsmen after addressing the first session on the third day of the deputy commissioners’ conference on Thursday morning.

“We have discussed the areas. We all agree that there is no alternative to working together. At present we have a very good relationship. With the civilian administration we want to go further by capitalising on it,” he added.

Asked about proposals from the DCs in this regard, he said there was no such proposal specifically. “But we have discussed the areas in which we have the potential to enhance our civil-military relations.

He added that there were some proposals that will be premature to share with all right now. “We will discuss a little more, and then it can be implemented.”

Regarding the issues emphasised in the conference, Gen. Shafiuddin said, “Environment is very important for me to do any work together.”

“I have focused on increasing communication with us,” he said, adding that good relationships are important for a good environment.

“The more the communication, the less becomes the communication gap. The less the communication gap, the better it will be for us to work,” he said.

Responding to a question about his role in the electoral field, the army chief said, “Our first responsibility is to protect the sovereignty of the country in the areas we work in.”

“In addition to protecting the sovereignty of the country, we carry out nation building activities in aid to civil power.

Disaster management is also performed under aid to civil power. “We assist law enforcement too,” he added.

“We are also performing a special duty in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. We are on duty at the FDMN camp in Cox’s Bazar. We, the Bangladesh Army, have been serving abroad from within our Constitution.”

He said a large number of Bangladesh Army personnel work in Kuwait earning a lot of foreign currency for the country.

Besides, Bangladesh Army has been recognised by the United Nations as the top ranked peacekeeper in the world. “We have seen that the support of the civilian administration is an important factor in carrying out all these activities.”

“Whenever the civilian administration thinks that the Bangladesh Army can stand by their side under the direction of the government, we will respond to their call and of course we will be by their side to fulfil our duty,” he said.