Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A High Court Ruling in Bangladesh in July 2008 Declares 250,000 Biharis or “Stranded Pakistanis” as Citizens

Ishita Dey

On 26 November 2007, 11 members of the Stranded Pakistanis Youth Rehabilitation Movement (SPYRM), including its president, Sadakat Khan, filed a petition seeking High Court orders to register as voters Urdu-speaking people living in 70 camps across the country. In the ruling in July 2008, 250000 Biharis or stranded Pakistanis were declared as citizens. This judgment has drawn a mixed reaction from others in refugee camps of Dhaka and elsewhere. People who have migrated before Bangladesh was formed still feel that they had come to settle in Islamic Pakistan and not secular Bangladesh and some of them did want to go back to Pakistan after Bangladesh was formed. Unlike their parents, the younger generation of Biharis do not feel like aliens in Bangladesh. Most speak both Bangla and Urdu, go to Bangla-medium schools, have Bengalee friends and spouses. Many of them identify themselves as Bangladeshis rather than claiming to be “Biharis” or “stranded Pakistanis”, and are working for stronger integration.

Most of them feel while they have won the right to vote they still need to fight to reclaim their properties and want to enjoy the rights of a citizen of Bangladesh.

To read the full article please click on the link given below: -

No comments: