PRC urges PM to repatriate stranded Pakistanis


Saudi Gazette

— Pakistan Repatriation Council (PRC) held a program to felicitate Imran Khan on becoming prime minister of Pakistan and to appeal to him to repatriate and rehabilitate stranded Pakistanis from Bangladesh. The event was held at Mehran Restaurant here.

Renowned columnist and former Saudi diplomat, who specializes in Southeast Asian affairs, Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi, presided over the event. Chief Guest was Farrukh Rasheed, executive member PTI Middle East. While Ahmed Bashir President PTI Jeddah and Dr. Abdul Aleem Khan, president Engineers Welfare Forum (EWF) were guests of honor.

Al-Ghamdi, in his presidential address, praised PRC for organizing the program to felicitate the new Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said he had listened to the speech of Imran Khan and was impressed about his vision to solve issues faced by common people and his promise to work on priority for poor and ignored citizens of the country. This is the Islamic concept and message of our Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him).

“A nation’s credibility is rated how they treat the poor and down-trodden citizens of the country. In this regards we would like to draw his attention towards the quarter million patriotic Pakistanis languishing in Bangladesh since 1971,” Al-Ghamdi said.

Al-Ghamdi added, “They migrated from India to East Pakistan in 1947 and sided with the Pak army in 1971 war with India. However, following the surrender of Pak army they became traitors in new state of Bangladesh and were subjected to revenge and persecution by the Mufti Baines and other local people.”

He said it is moral and legal obligation of Pakistan to own them; issue passports and arrange their repatriation and settlement in Pakistan on top priority. He said, “A nation of 200 million should not have problem to accept the small number of quarter million citizens who has suffered a lot due to their loyalty to Pakistan. In this regards OIC, MWL and UNHCR and PRC proposal can help in solving the financial aspect of this issue.”

Chief Guest Rasheed thanked PRC for organizing the event and said Prime Minister Imran Khan has given lot of emphasis to protect the rights of overseas Pakistanis and in this regards instructed to help those Pakistanis who are still in jails in many countries. He promised that he would bring to the attention of prime minister the issue of stranded Pakistanis so he can review and bring about a solution. He also asked PRC to submit its proposal of “Repatriation and rehabilitation of stranded Pakistanis on self finance basis”.

Guest of honor Dr. Abdul Aleem Khan said that we are very excited with the commitment and vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, which he expressed in his first speech after becoming prime minister. He touched major issues faced by the nation and promised to initiate solutions to them. He also urged prime minister to take the issue of stranded Pakistanis seriously and seek a solution after talking to his Bangladeshi counterpart.

Ahmed Bashir of PTI also thanked PRC for the program and appreciated them for working on the issue of stranded Pakistanis, which is national and human cause. He promised that on the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan a delegation of PRC would be allowed to meet him and bring the issue formally to his attention. He said that Imran Khan has conviction to solve the issues faced to the nation.

Hamid Islam Khan, deputy convener, while congratulating Imran Khan on becoming prime minister elaborated the condition of patriotic Pakistanis languishing in Bangladesh lacking proper housing; food; health; education or employment. Therefore the only solution is to bring and settle them in Pakistan the country they chose in 1947.

Shahid Nayeem, president Pakistan Journalists Forum (PJF), said that people should support the new government with patience and give them enough time to work for solutions.

Shamsuddin Altaf, Mohammad Amanatullah and Agha Akram also wished the best for the prime minister in their speeches and urged him to organize their early repatriation to Pakistan.

Syed Ehsanul Haque, convener PRC, said that not only local but overseas Pakistanis are also very optimistic with Imran Khan becoming prime minister.

He said, overseas Pakistanis were helping the nation by remitting billion of dollars and is backbone of our economy. But we never got any reward or appreciation other than hollow promises.

He said, it has happened with Pakistanis who sided with Pak army in 1971 war and were left behind after the surrender. They are languishing in camps in Bangladesh without proper livelihood. “While praying success for Imran Khan in his new challenge as prime minister, we hope that he would fulfill the obligation towards all Pakistanis,” he added.

Earlier the program started with recitation of Holy Qur'an by Eng. Tariq Jawed and Naat from Syed Mussarat Khalil.

Following resolutions were approved:

Full time permanent Kashmir committee should be established to seek plebiscite in Kashmir as per the UNO resolution. This should be part of our foreign policy as well.

Stranded Pakistanis should be given ID Cards and passports and organize their repatriation and rehabilitation in Pakistan.

Allocation of sufficient funds to construct Bhasha; Dameir and other dams on top priority.

Special prayer was made for full recovery of Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef who is undergoing treatment for cardiac ailment in hospital in London.

Also prayed for Allah’s blessing and mercy on Mohammed Iqbal Choudhry, CEO Jeddah Cricket Association (JCA), and renowned community member who died in Pakistan last week.