Pak Bengali community being 'victimised' by government authorities

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Karachi, Feb.2 (ANI): Pakistani nationals of Bengali origin are a harassed lot these days, as reports regarding them being victimised by government agencies have increased manifold in the recent past.

The step-motherly treatment being meted out to thousands of Pak nationals of Bangladesh origin, who have been living in Karachi for years, has highlighted the Interior Ministry's awful way of handling issues at its end.

Last month, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had asked all illegal immigrants to leave the country within a fortnight or face strict action.

Later, however, Malik backtracked from his statement, saying all those who are living in the country legally would not be harassed by government agencies.

Despite the assurance, Bengali people continue to suffer at the hands of the all-powerful authorities.

Pak nationals of Bengali origin, who have been settled in the country for decades, are continuously being harassed by interior officials at the Karachi airport, The Nation reports.

Bangladesh's Deputy High Commission also confirmed having received numerous complaints from Bangladeshi families, which visited Bangladesh to see their relatives and were exploited at Karachi airport on their return.

People complain that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials often accuse them of carrying fake passports, detain them at airports, and interrogate them despite them carrying valid and legal documents and machine readable passports (MRPs), which cannot be tampered or forged.

According to an unofficial data over 300,000 to 350,000 Bangladeshis are currently living in Karachi, with many playing important and active roles in the socio-political and socio-economic set-up of the city, but despite that they face the humiliation of being called 'illegal' residents almost daily. (ANI)

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