A four-day workshop on National Security and Civil-Military Relations in Bangladesh was held at Hotel Westin, Dhaka from 16-19 November 2009. It was jointly organized by Bangladesh Institute of International Strategic Studies (BIISS) and Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) with the support of Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Mr. H. T. Imam, Adviser to the Honourable Prime Minister, Government of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh was the Chief Guest at the Inaugural Session of the Workshop. Major General Muhammed Firdaus Mian, psc, Chairman, Board of Governors, BIISS delivered the welcome address. Mr. Farooq Sobhan, President, BEI chaired the session. COL (Retd) David Shanahan, Acting Dean, APCSS, USA also spoke at the Inaugural Session.
The aim of the workshop was to discuss the priorities Bangladesh faces in achieving national security development and civil-military interactions, how these priorities should be ranked, and what challenges lie ahead in seeing the ideas formulated are materialized into permanent practices. Forty high-level Bangladeshi officials/ practitioners from the security and civil sectors including expert and think-tanks deliberated upon the national security and civil-military relations priorities, challenges to the priorities and the response needed to face the challenges. Beside the two plenary sessions, on day one, there were several sessions of the workshop in which key note speeches were delivered by distinguished speakers.
In the first plenary session, presentations were made on National Security Priorities by Dr. M. Afsarul Qader, Vice President and COO, BEI and Major General Helal Morshed Khan, BB, psc (Retd), Convener, Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad, Central Command Council. Mr. Farooq Sobhan, President, BEI chaired the session.
The second plenary session was chaired by Major General Sheikh Md Monirul Islam, ndc, psc, Director General, BIISS. Brigadier General Shahedul Anam Khan, ndc, psc (Retd), Editor, Defence and Strategic Affairs, The Daily Star presented paper in this session on Civil-Military Relations.
The other paper presenter on first day was Dr. Abdur Rob Khan, Associate Professor, North South University, Dhaka who spoke on National Security and Civil-Military Relations in Bangladesh.
On the second day Lieutenant General M Harun Ar Rashid, BP, rcds,psc (Retd), Former Chief of Army Staff, Bangladesh Army and Mr. Mahfuz Anam, Editor, The Daily Star, Dhaka made presentations on Issues and Challenges to Civil-Military Relations in Bangladesh. On the third day Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed, Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka spoke on Meeting the Challenges to Civil-Military Relations in Bangladesh.
In the Concluding Session on Fourth day Final Report: Priorities, Challenges and Responses of the workshop was presented by the participants.