OIC urged to help solve stranded Pakistanis’ issue
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should take up the matter of stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh, as the issue involves its two important member-states — Pakistan and Bangladesh, argued Francis Lamand, a lawyer of international repute and the president of Paris-based Islam and the West.
Lamand was presiding over a symposium on “Repatriation and rehabilitation of stranded Pakistanis on self-finance basis,” which was organized by Pakistan Repatriation Council (PRC), here on Tuesday.
Actively involved on the issue of the Pakistanis’ repatriation, Lamand said he had met with Pakistan’s former President Asif Zardari and some other officials and also with ambassador of Bangladesh to seek a solution to the festering problem of nearly quarter of a million Pakistanis who are living in the filthy camps in Bangladesh since 1971 war. Lamand has also approached UNHCR to seek refugee status for them.
Former Saudi diplomat Ali Al-Ghamdi praised PRC for its sustained campaign for the Pakistan’s forgotten children, and suggested the formation of a delegation headed by Omar Abdullah Naseef, the president of World Muslim Congress, to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to seek his direct involvement for solving the repatriation issue.
Al-Ghamdi lauded the PRC proposal to provide Pakistani passports and arrange jobs for them in the Gulf countries with the help of a newly created trust.
“This is workable as the proposal asks for providing passports to about 40,000 male members who can seek employment in KSA and Gulf to financially support their repatriation and rehabilitation,” Al-Ghamdi said.
PRC Convener Syed Ehsanul Haque thanked the guests and participants for attending the seminar and gave details of the PRC proposal that included besides exploring jobs for those abandoned Pakistanis, housing units in Punjab that could be built by the trust.
Haque demanded that the Pakistani High Commission at Dhaka should ensure protection of life and property of those Pakistanis in Bangladesh living in different camps.
The participants who approved the PRC proposal included Pakistan Engineers Society’s Secretary General Azeez Ahmed, Pakistan Memon Association’s Joint Secretary Tayyab Mosani, Majlize Iqbal President Irfan Hashmi, journalists Syed Musarrat Khalil and Mohammad Amanatullah. All of them found the proposal practical and workable. They also paid huge tribute to Francis Lamand for his support for the Muslims cause in Europe and the stranded Pakistanis.
Abdul Qayyum Wasiq conducted the symposium. Qari Abdul Majeed initiated the program by reciting verses from the Holy Qur’an.