Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said no Rohingya has returned to Bangladesh from Saudi Arabia or any other country.
“We don’t know about any Rohingya going to Saudi Arabia or returning with a Bangladeshi passport,” he said at the inaugural function of BIMSTEC Traditional Healthcare Expo-2020 at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB).
He said no Rohingya travelled abroad or returned home with Bangladeshi passport.
Regarding Rohingyas holding Bangladeshi passports in Saudi Arabia, the Foreign Minister said that Dhaka has not been officially informed about this neither by the Bangladesh embassy nor by the Saudi government.
The minister mentioned that many expatriates in Saudi Arabia are Bangladeshis without jobs.
“There are many Bangladeshi expatriates in Saudi Arabia who have no job. Their economic situation is not going well. And it is natural that if you don’t work, you will come home,” he said.
‘Traditional Medicine Part Of Development Process’
Earlier, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen laid emphasis on exploring regional and international cooperation and support saying the traditional medicine systems (TMS) have been playing a significant role in the overall public health care and well-being of the people in the Bay of Bengal Region.
“Traditional Medicine has substantial contributions to the national economies of the member states of BIMSTEC,” he said, mentioning that it is imperative to continue efforts and mutual engagements to further strengthen the existing cooperation mechanism in the field of traditional medicine.
In Bangladesh, the Foreign Minister said, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took initiatives to include Traditional Medicine in 1973 to ensure primary health care services to the poor and underprivileged people of the country.
Over the last 10 years, he said, Bangladesh made remarkable progress in the health sector under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The Foreign Minister said traditional medicine has been a part of this development process and the incumbent government incorporated traditional medicine in the election manifesto of 2018. “We’re happy to see an increasing number of people receiving Unani and Ayurvedic treatment nowadays.”
Dr Momen said Bangladesh government set up facilities to provide traditional medicine in the existing government hospitals at the district and upazila levels along with allopathic medicines.
“I’m happy to learn that we have a future plan to establish one Unani and Ayurvedic Graduate college in each of the three divisions of Chattogram, Rajshahi and Barishal and one National Research Centre of Unani and Ayurvedic system of medicine in the country,” he said.
Formation of a separate Council for Unani and Ayurvedic is in the pipeline, he said.
‘BIMSTEC, A Key Regional Forum’
In Bangladesh, Dr Momen said, it was Bangabandhu, who for the first time dreamt of working together with the neighbours in South Asia after our independence.
He said BIMSTEC is now one of the most important regional forums. “It was Bangabandhu’s able daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who had been at the helm of Bangladesh Government during the time of the birth of BIMSTEC regional forum back in 1997.”
Public Health is one of the core areas among the 14 sectors of cooperation under BIMSTEC.
Dr Momen said the two-day event and the sideline brain storming sessions will facilitate a comprehensive series of debates and deliberations on all relevant aspects and issues related to problems and prospects of Traditional Medicine and its role in Public Health cooperation among BIMSTEC member states and they will find out suitable recommendations for the policymakers.
AFM Fakhrul Islam Munshi, Chief Coordinator of the Organizing Committee of BIMSTEC Traditional Healthcare Expo-2020, ABM Ghulam Mostafa, President of Bangladesh Ayurved Foundation, M Shahidul Islam, Secretary General of BIMSTEC, Riva Ganguly Das, High Commissioner of India, Dr A Roghu, Joint Adviser of Ministry of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AUSH) of Indian Government, Rajeev Singh, Director General of Indian Chamber of Commerce, ambassadors and high commissioners in Dhaka from the BIMSTEC member states were present.