BAHAWALPUR-Essa Abdulla Al Basha Al Noaimi, the ambassador of UAE in Pakistan, said that the relationship between UAE and Pakistan has always been very cooperative since Sheikh Zayed’s time.

“Pakistan is an important country and we would like to benefit from the vision of the present government regarding fighting terrorism and extremism in Pakistan in particular and in Muslim Ummah in general,” he said.

He further added, “We would like to enhance cooperation in consolidating the image of Islam; it’s high time that Muslim Ummah should get united against the extremist elements and should present the real version of Islamic ideology in front of the world.”

A minister of state said that situation of the country was grave in terms of terrorism in 2013, but after the effective implementation of Zarb e Azb and National Action Plan, things started improving. Acts of terrorism minimised, foreign investment came back to Pakistan, tax to GDP ratio improved, confidence and trust of International community in Pakistan returned because of the government’s resolve against terrorism, he said.

He further added, “We would like to collaborate with UAE in promoting the true image of Islam.” Talking about the Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centres in Pakistan, the minister of state said that government has increased the grants of these centres to more than Rs 1 million per year in 2015. “But we still think that more funding is required for these centres to start new programmes. These centres are rolling out great ideas like Shairah Compliance and Islamic Banking etc,” stated the minister.

Moreover, he said, “We are revisiting our National Education Policy and Minimum National Curriculum to make such institutes more productive. We could make these centres align with NAP and give them research grants to find solution to fight terrorism through Islamic teachings. Prime Minister of Pakistan has already constituted a committee on the restructuring of these centres in order to make them more effective.”

He said, “We will revive the 1985 agreement between Pakistan and UAE regarding these centres, joint cooperation should be promoted in order to fight extremism. We should hold regular meetings to discuss strategies and also monitor and evaluate the progress of the plan.”