‘Govt looking into issue of stranded Pakistanis’

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Raja Zafar-ul-Haq

Raja Zafar-ul-Haq

The issue of stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh has not been forgotten, said Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, leader of Pakistan’s upper house of Parliament and secretary-general of World Muslim Congress, during a recent visit to Jeddah.

Highlighting the main issues discussed during the two-day meeting held at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) recently, he said that pressing matters, both old and new, were discussed at the meeting.

“Although, major crisis of Iraq and Syria were at the forefront of the talks, the Kashmir issue was still a top priority,” he said, adding that the issue will not be overshadowed, even if previous governments may have been reluctant to discuss it.

He said Islamabad is focusing on the issue of Pakistanis who are stranded in Bangladesh.

“Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz has instructed a review of the now-defunct Rabita Trust, a Pakistan-based charity that served as the financial arm of the Saudi-sponsored Muslim World League for refugees,” he said, adding that the trustees will soon be invited to attend a meeting to dissolve the group and set up another institution in its place.

Haq denounced the killing of 10 stranded Pakistanis by Bangladeshi thugs at a camp in Dhaka recently, saying that he was shocked by the way they were murdered.

“I urge Bangladeshi authorities to protect refugees living at the camp and punish the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” he said.

Commenting on India-Pakistan relations, Haq said: “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif engaged in a gesture of good faith by agreeing to attend the inauguration ceremony of Indian Premier Narendra Modi in spite of anti-Pakistan rhetoric prior to the elections,” he said. “I hope Sharif’s gesture will be reciprocated.”

Haq also discussed the recent terror activities by the Pakistani Taleban (TTP), saying: “Talks between the government and the militant group have become more difficult since there are now many factions of Taleban.

Some of these factions want to talk, while others refuse to negotiate. This has stagnated the whole process.”

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