Bangladesh to rename Zia International Airport

Bangladesh to rename Zia International Airport

"The ministry has proposed it to be named after great saint Hazrat Shah Jalal," a civil aviation ministry spokesman said.

The spokesman said the ministry proposal pointed out that the all other major airports of the country were named after great Islamic Sufi saints who shaped the peoples' mind with their liberal outlook in developing a harmonious society and immensely contributed towards the welfare of mankind.

Zia International Airport was named after late president Ziaur Rahman, who was also the founder of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Zia's wife Khaeda Zia heads the party following his death in an abortive military coup in 1981.

The cabinet in December last year decided in principle to go along with the proposal of Awami League's general secretary and Local Government Minister Syed Ashraful Islam to rename the capital's main aerodrome.

The airport with a total area of about 1,300 acres is used by 16 international airlines while it handles half a million passengers and 98,000 million tonnes of cargo annually, according to official records.

Shah Jalal, a great Sufi saint of Bengal, was believed to have been born in Turkey in 1271 and educated in Makkah. He commands great respect from Muslims of the subcontinent. He was buried in Sylhet.

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