SC rejects plea regarding repatriation of stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh

Published: March 31, 2015
Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court rejected on Tuesday plea regarding repatriation of at least 300,000 stranded Pakistanis (mostly Biharis) from Bangladesh on grounds of having no locus standi.

The three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar resumed the petition that was filed by the Stranded Pakistanis General Repatriation Committee of Bangladesh six years ago, through its president Abdul Jabbar Khan. The petition sought repatriation of Pakistanis who are living in subhuman conditions in a number of camps across Bangladesh.

The court ruled that the petitioner has no locus standi as the organisation is unregistered and the counsel for petitioner, Rashidul Haq Qazi, failed to satisfy with his arguments if is registered.

The plea was dismissed by the Supreme Court saying that as per government policies, these residents of Bangladesh are not essentially Pakistanis.

On March 30, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the remaining ‘stranded Pakistanis’ in Bangladesh are not the responsibility of Pakistan as the country has already repatriated a large number of non-Bengalis.

Read: Stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh not Pakistan’s responsibility, FO tells SC

The foreign office in its report, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, claimed that large number of Biharis stranded in Bangladesh do not want to be repatriated to Pakistan. “There is a difference of opinion on their repatriation to Pakistan or otherwise. There are a large number of Biharis in Bangladesh who do not want to be repatriated to Pakistan,” added the report.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • saeed
    Mar 31, 2015 - 6:13PM

    Would they be left behind if they were punjabis? A question for everybody.Recommend

  • TN
    Mar 31, 2015 - 7:46PM

    Thank God the matter is closed — it is almost 50 years for the sad event.
    Things happen — 1947 Pakistan was created and tens of millions Muslims were left behind in India. Can they claim to be Pakistanis?
    Bangladesh is a state and who so ever lives there is considered their national.Recommend

  • observer
    Mar 31, 2015 - 8:31PM

    this decision was expected…American govt never abandon it own people and those non- -American who stood beside them in hour of crises Recommend

  • Liya
    Mar 31, 2015 - 10:01PM

    Please keep your racism to yourself, this was never racially motivated.Recommend

  • Mansoor Sindhi
    Mar 31, 2015 - 10:55PM

    We appreciate the decision of SC of Pakistan. Thank you. Pakistan is not an international refugee center. We have our own economic issues, a rising population. We need to focus on our internal issues. No time to waste on non-issues. Secondly, after partition, Biharis opted to migrate to Begladesh. And remember, as per SC orders of Bengladesh, they have been given NIC cards and voting rights. They are now citizens of Bangladesh. Humble suggestion to Mohajirs in Bangladesh: They should integrate with local people. Don’t call themselves as Mohajirs any more, and be one with people of the land. Same suggestion to Mohajirs of Sindh, please integrate with Sindhis who gave you land, resources and home. Work for the betterment of Sindh and Pakistan. With unity, we can build better and stronger Pakistan. Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Mar 31, 2015 - 11:05PM

    Poets are people who base their creations on exaggeration and this is what has given rise to the term ‘poeteic exaggeration.’ This is the concession granted to poets which enables them to see female beauty in ‘boota sa qad’ (Smallness in height) as also in ‘sarv qad’ (tallness).

    But the judges are not poets and once they had dismissed the petition on the gounds that ‘the petitioner had no locus standi as the organization is unregistered and the counsel for petitioner, Rashidul Haq Qazi, failed to satisfy with his arguments if is registered,’ the judges should have left it at that, without making further observations.

    The second injustice seems to have been done when the petition by approximately 300,000 stranded Pakistan in Bangladesh, filed through the president of Stranded Pakistanis General Repatriation Committee of Bangladesh was taken up for hearing not a week, a month or even a year later, but full six years after its was filed.

    The third injustice arises when the report mentions ‘at least 300,000 stranded Pakistanis from Bangladesh as mostly ‘Biharis’. Recently government brought back about five hundred Pakistanis stranded in Yemen, but their ethnicities were nowhere mentioned in the news reports. So, why for the Pakistanis stranded in Bangladesh, it became essential to refer to their ethnicity as Biharis?

    Fourthly, the statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ‘that the remaining ‘stranded Pakistanis’ in Bangladesh are not the responsibility of Pakistan as the country has already repatriated a large number of non-Bengalis’ sounds rather illogical since they all either deserved to be repatriated or they did not. In any case, it was a question of just about 300,000 people whose arrival would hardly have changed the demography of a country of over 200 million people, which accommodates around three million Afghan refugees.

    It is bad enough that the government of Pakistan fails to meet its legal obligation to its citizens stranded in Bangladesh and leaves them to languish in sub-human conditions. What is even worse is the officials’ attempt to justify this utterly shameful conduct as A rightful course.


  • Radiohead
    Apr 1, 2015 - 1:12AM

    Excellent question and my answer is probably NEVER.


    Answer the question rather then attacking the persons intentions.Recommend

  • Radiohead
    Apr 1, 2015 - 1:59AM

    @Mansoor Sindhi

    I dont know if i would cry or laugh at your comment.

    The stranded Pakistanis were not Beharis as stated in this report, they were Pakistanis who
    were migrated to Pakistan not Bangladesh. They became Beharis after the country’s masters dont need them anymore.

    Regarding your suggestion to Mohajirs to become sindhi, I would like to suggest you to suggest
    this to our Panjabi abadgars brethrens who are living in sindh for over a 100 years and still walk panjabi talk panjabi and wear panjabi.

    We are here for only 60 some years. It will take more time for us RICH culture mohajirs to adopt sindhi culture.

    By the way, do sindhi play any national sport?Recommend

  • N
    Apr 1, 2015 - 3:01AM

    These standards biharies were never Pakistanies neither they match our culture thanks to the ruling of SC of Pakistan and clear and loud briefing by FO of Pakistan about this 50 years old drama
    They are citizens of Bangladesh and govt of Bangladesh should take care of them bye bye from Pakistan have a nice peaceful sleepRecommend

  • Humza
    Apr 1, 2015 - 3:04AM

    @Mansoor Sindhi: I agree with you. We should be honest? I don’t think they should come to Pakistan at all. Most Pakistanis don’t want the Biharis in their midst. They are citizens of Bangladesh and some have gone to live with family in India. They should accept that their future belongs in Bangladesh or India and not come to Pakistan.Recommend

  • N
    Apr 1, 2015 - 3:11AM

    Excellent and timely decision by FO and SC of PakistanRecommend

  • observer
    Apr 1, 2015 - 8:14AM

    So Pakistan won’t accept these stranded BD Pakistanis? I guess, the Pak Establishment would have made it happen if these stranded blokes came with land.

    This exposes the hypocrisy of Pakistan’s crocodile tears for the Kashmiris, Palestinians, Rohingyas, and Muslims elsewhere.Recommend

  • Chachoo
    Apr 1, 2015 - 11:01AM

    Kindly rephrase this Stranded Pakistanis word. A Pakistani is that person who carries Pakistani Passport. This is plain and simple. For example anyone in Yemen right now with our Passport is our stranded Pakistani there. But those people who claim to be stranded in Bangladesh do not carry any Pakistani Passport. They never migrated from West Pakistan ( Current Pakistan ) to Bangladesh. Those who did migrated back after the Civil war in Bangladesh in 1970s.

    Sindh cannot take any more refugees and the migration of more than 500,000 Biharis in any part of Balochistan, Punjab and KP will only create the rift with the locals since Bihari language and way of life is way different than those people who are living in those regions. Recommend

  • Mehreen Shahid
    Apr 1, 2015 - 11:10AM

    @saeed The Current Pakistan is not responsible for every Muslim of the subcontinent. Even in 1940 resolution it was clearly stated to combine the regions of West India into autonomous regions. The name Pakistan is based on Western regions as well. Historians later changed the history to accommodate the migrants from the other parts of India.

    Punjabis, Pukhtoons , Sindhis and Balochis are indigenous people of the land. If they are stranded anywhere in the world then they are allowed to come back to their lands. This is plain and simple. But the Current Pakistan is not responsible for those who migrated from South India to Bangladesh. So whatever the race card you want to play but this is the reality. Pakistan is responsible for its own people only. Our responsibility is not to protect and give refuge to every Muslim of the subcontinent.Recommend

  • Turtlehead
    Apr 1, 2015 - 1:02PM

    @Mehreen Shahid:
    if the current pakistan is not responsible for the muslims of the subcontinent, then please stop fighting for Kashmir, its not your problem anymore. Recommend

  • Liya
    Apr 1, 2015 - 5:28PM

    @Radiohead: “Answer the question rather then attacking the persons intentions.” — If he is going to parade his racism under the guise of a question, I will very well call him out on it and attack his intentions. You keep your moralizing to yourself.Recommend

  • Lord
    Apr 1, 2015 - 6:53PM

    Bingo manRecommend

  • RHS
    Apr 2, 2015 - 6:52AM

    Maybe it is time for some of us to renounce that old Pakistani citizenship?
    The SC just told us that it might be worthless.Recommend

  • faisal
    Apr 5, 2015 - 2:09AM

    All the people domiciled in West Pakistan were repatriated and even if someone is left be he punjabi or pathan, he should be repatriated. When East Pakistan became Bangladesh all its residents domiciled there became bangladeshis and ae no longer pakistanis and have no legal status to move here. I don’t know why they call them pakistanis.Recommend

    Jun 17, 2015 - 3:04PM

    Becose These Bunch of fool were supporting pakistani army in 1971 and they were against the Local Bengali people and they are still paying the price to be loyal with your beloved country “Pakistan” ,I Don’t know why they are still in a illustion as Self Proclaimed Pakistani since 44 Years & I am calling them fools becose i am also a proud Bihari living in India and This also exposes the hypocrisy of Pakistan for the KashmirisRecommend

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