`OIC performance not up to expectations'

DUBAI - Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a member of Bangladesh parliament and adviser to Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia, has said that both the UAE and Bangladesh are committed to protect the good name of the Islamic Ummah, separating it from the smear campaign against the Islamic world on the plea of terrorism.

By Debasree S.

Published: Tue 27 Jan 2004, 12:18 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:30 AM

Speaking to Khaleej Times on Monday, Mr Salauddin said that both the countries are partners in preventing the growth of extremism in Islamic thought leading to the perceived polarisation between the Islamic world and the West.

Appreciating the UAE for its sympathetic attitude towards Bangladesh during the last three decades when the country has been hit by a series of natural calamities, Mr Salauddin said that the Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia held the UAE government in great personal esteem and offered a preferential attitude in welcoming closer bilateral cooperation.

"The President, His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, has always had a very emotionally sympathetic attitude towards Bangladesh that has been reflected in the benevolent support that he has bestowed on Bangladesh ever since its inception on 1971," he said.

"Bangladesh has always had an extremely valued and close relationship with the UAE. We have over 300,000 Bangladeshis living and working in the UAE, sharing the development programme of the UAE and contributing to its economy," Mr Salauddin said. UAE contractors are currently engaged in two major projects in Bangladesh - the first of constructing a major highway connecting different parts of the capital city Dhaka and the second project of building the tallest building in Bangladesh.

One of the senior-most parliamentarians in Bangladesh, Mr Salauddin said that he had met Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, to pursue the matter further and help attract more foreign direct investment from the UAE into Bangladesh.

The UAE has offered various grants to Bangladesh to develop the irrigation and communication sector. Also the UAE-based ceramic company, Ras Al Khaimah Ceramic, has set up a base in Bangladesh and is now being considered one of the most successful private sector enterprises in the country.

A candidate for the position of the Secretary General of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Mr Salauddin observed that the organisation's performance in the past has been less than satisfactory.

"Although we have been very active within the OIC, particularly when the Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia was a member of the Al Quds Committee and also member of a summit-level committee during the Gulf war. I believe that the overall performance of the organisation has not been up to the expectation of its members. As a non-Arab member, we have participated within a particular framework of the OIC. However, we are looking forward to see the OIC as an effective organisation, working for the welfare of Islamic countries, whose commitment will be demonstrated in the social uplift of the Muslim Ummah.

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