(MENAFN - Arab News) The Pakistan Repatriation Council (PRC), an organization seeking the repatriation of Pakistanis stranded in Bangladesh, called on the government of Pakistan to bring back the hapless Pakistanis languishing in camps for more than four decades.
At a symposium held here on Saturday, speakers lamented the indifference of Pakistan government toward its nationals living in squalid camps in Bangladesh.
The event was held to mark the anniversary of the fall of Dhaka when Pakistani troops surrendered following a war with India resulting in the independence of Bangladesh. Pakistanis living in the eastern part of the country were abandoned by the Pakistan government and are still living in that country.
Ali Al-Ghamdi, who presided over the meeting, said the fall of Dhaka was a sad event for the entire Muslim world. He regretted that those who were patriotic Pakistanis and sided with their army were left in a hostile country. He offered to help PRC in its endeavor to get these stranded people repatriated to their country. Al-Ghamdi said he was ready to meet Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to press for the resolution of the issue.
He urged the Muslim World League, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Islamic Development Bank to extend all help to bring the stranded Pakistanis back to their country. He criticized the execution of Abdul Quader Mollah without allowing him the opportunity to defend himself.
Azeez Ahmed, secretary-general of Pakistan Engineers Society, said Dec. 16 is a black day in Pakistan's history and "it is very tragic that patriotic Pakistanis are still suffering in Bangladesh." He urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to start their repatriation.
Tayyab Moosani, secretary-general of Pakistan Memon Association said all parties and organizations should support the PRC in the resolution of this issue.
Syed Ehsanul Haque, PRC convener, said Pakistanis are living like animals in around 70 camps in Bangladesh. "They are subjected to all kinds of humiliation and atrocities by Bengalis and the government and are denied all basic rights," he said.
On the other hand, hundreds of thousands of Bengalis are living in Pakistan, he added. Ehsan urged Islamabad to reactivate the Rabita Trust and start the repatriation of stranded Pakistanis.
Community leaders Mohammad Ashfaque Badayouni, Shaikh Mohammad Luqman, Mohammad Amanatullah, Hamid Islam Khan and Tariq Mahmood also spoke.
The participants adopted resolutions urging the government of Pakistan to restart the repatriation process.
They also called on Islamabad to assign its high commissioner in Dhaka to look after the interests of 250,000 Pakistanis confined to camps across Bangladesh.