Bengalis afraid of losing their identity and rights

Published: November 4, 2012
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Bengali activists protest outside the Karachi Press Club on Saturday. PHOTO: ONLINE

Bengali activists protest outside the Karachi Press Club on Saturday. PHOTO: ONLINE

KARACHI: 

Fearing a witch hunt by the local administration and police following a directive of the Supreme Court for action against illegal immigrants, Bengali community members on Saturday staged a protest outside the Karachi Press Club.

“There are more than three million Bengalis who live in Pakistan and call it their country. Those who call us migrants should correct their facts,” said the committee’s chairperson, Shaikh Muhammad Feroze, while speaking at a rally outside the KPC. He added that Begalis should be seen as equals as they are patriotic and have sacrificed a lot for the country. Feroze told The Express Tribune that he and his parents have Pakistani identity cards, but his children cannot get theirs without being hassled by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

The committee’s supreme council member, Haji Abdur Razaq, told The Express Tribune that the term ‘migrants’ should be clarified as his father strived for the establishment of Pakistan, but it was tragic that his children cannot get their identity cards from NADRA.  “I was born in PIB Colony in 1954 and have a Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC), but my children have been given the run by NADRA,” said Razaq. He added that first they were sent to NADRA’s Karaz head office and then to the crime branch for investigation and clarification, where it costs Rs15,000 to receive clearance. He demanded that the Chief Justice of Pakistan to provide them their rights as they have played their role in the making of this country.

“We demand that the government provide all Bengalis with national identity cards, passports and legal documents immediately,” said Feroze. He added that the state agencies will start oppressing Bengalis like they did in 1971, but this time they will not back down. “The police, Federal Investigation Agency and other agencies have inflicted cruelty upon us and many Bengalis have been killed.”

Noor Islam, 45, who came from Shah Nawaz Bhutto Colony to participate in the protest, said that he was born and bred in Karachi and will most likely die here, but he was still not accepted as a Pakistani citizen. “The Supreme Court has directed that migrants should be evacuated from Pakistan and we are afraid that the police will start troubling us again,” said Islam.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • sid
    Nov 4, 2012 - 12:37AM

    Man this Bangladeshi are everywhere illegally………..u have 3 million we have about 20 million in India……..Moreover Bangladeshi govt refuses to take its citizen when deported………..God save us…

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  • Nov 4, 2012 - 1:59AM

    Lots of Bengali expatriates abroad seem to see their country as better and ravage about what a better country Bangladesh is than Pakistan. This is a paradox.

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  • Khy2Khi
    Nov 4, 2012 - 9:23AM

    Population control is the only way. For example; family planning, financial, educational and health education specially of poor and low income families. Better life promise and rewarding fields of self development reduce frustration and hopelessnenccess that is the main reason behind carelessness by parents toward size and quality of a family they want. Although there always will be careless peoples but even if half of us change our way of thinking that will make a huge difference over the years.

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  • nomi
    Nov 4, 2012 - 1:28PM

    These are our citizens. Its the Afghans who are migrants. The very concept of Pakistan was born in Bengal.

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  • Another Pakistani
    Nov 4, 2012 - 3:38PM

    Ok they are “patriotic” as they claim but who do they support in a Pakistan Vs Bangladesh cricket match? :S

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  • Khurram
    Nov 4, 2012 - 5:09PM

    @nomi: Mr Nomi kindly stop this selective humanitarian mantra. Humanity dont hold any bounds. Afghans have been through wars as well and based on Humanitarian grounds they must be given full rights and citizenship in Pakistan if anyone wants to live here then give them full rights. Same should be the case with everyone including Bengalis but Migration should have some limits as Adopted country first have to look after their own people as well.
    I have met many Afghans who have a bad attitude with Pakistanis and they are racists towards Punjabis and Sindhis but anyway if they will change their attitude and wants to be a Pakistani and second and third generations want to become a Pakistani then kindly give them Citizenship but it is necessary they will confirm their allegiance with one country rather than with One ethnicity.

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  • Fatima
    Nov 4, 2012 - 5:18PM

    Exactly what I wondered while reading this [email protected] Pakistani:

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  • Nov 4, 2012 - 5:57PM

    @Another Pakistani:
    it’s just a game and the players play for money. Itna dil pe mat leejije!

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  • Lala Gee
    Nov 4, 2012 - 6:10PM

    Mere presence of 3 million Bengalis in Pakistan and their claim of being patriotic citizens is a proof that they were played by India in the 70s using false propaganda and local stooges. Bengalis realized this fact very early and got rid of their so called founding father. Now the same game is being played in Baluchistan. Bluchis must learn lesson from Bengalis.

    We should treat these Bangalis or Bangladeshis with respect, and if they want to make Pakistan their home, they must be welcomed.

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  • Nov 4, 2012 - 10:59PM

    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf believes that these people, of Bengali and Bihari ethnicities, are full and equal citizens of Pakistan. They must neither be harassed nor their patriotism and loyalty be brought under question.

    InshAllah when PTI comes to power we will give these people, and all other ethnic groups, their due rights enshrined under constitution, by treating them as full and equal citizens.

    Vote for PTI.

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