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Army chief rules out chances of military takeover

world Updated: May 24, 2007 13:53 IST

PTI
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The Bangladesh army chief has ruled out the chances of a military takeover in the country, saying it was not the 'proper institution' to run the government.

"Army is assisting the non-party caretaker government (of Chief Adviser) Fakhruddin Ahmed as a subordinate government body and it has no plan to promulgate martial law," Lt Gen Moeen U Ahmed told a group of newspaper editors on Wednesday.

"If the army," he said, "wanted to take power, they could do it during the chaotic period following October 28 last year when there were many such occasions".

"But we have resisted all temptations because we do not want to be involved in politics or run the government. The army is not the proper institution for governing the country,"

Ahmed said adding, "We would like to see a competent, honest and committed leadership to run the country in future."

The army chief also stressed the army's full commitment to press freedom and journalists' right to report freely. "The army respects the free press and takes its suggestions very seriously and often acts on them."

Ahmed said even personally he did not have any intention or ambition to be in politics or "go beyond my role as the army chief".

"I am looking forward to my retirement and leading a life as an ordinary Bangladeshi citizen. I may be involved in some sort of social work," the Daily Star quoted him as saying.