Only 2 out of 30,000 NGOs working for "suffering" Pak refugees in Bangladesh

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Karachi, July 4 (ANI): Only two out of 30,000 Bangladeshi non-governmental organisations are working for the welfare of the Pakistani refugees living in 66 camps in that country, it has been claimed.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Anwar Khan Akmal, President of a US based NGO, OBAT Helpers, said the stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh were deprived of basic amenities like education, health, employment, clean drinking water, sewerage system etc.

"In July 2004, I travelled to Bangladesh from the US to review the living standard of the stranded Pakistanis there. When I reached a camp, children asked me not to enter. I was told that there was no bathroom for women at the camp and whenever they took a bath inside the camp, children would keep guard and stop men from entering there," the Daily Times quoted, Akmal, as saying.

Pointing out that he spent his 1,800 dollars for the construction of bathrooms for women, Akmal said he also started working to provide them basic civic amenities in collaboration with Pakistan-origin Americans and native US citizens.

Elaborating the grievances of the stranded Pakistanis, he said the refugees have suffered since the separation of East Pakistan, and now their third generation is waiting to see what the future holds for them.

"A better tomorrow for them would not be possible without financial, social and political assistance," he added.

Akmal said his organisation had established coaching centres for stranded Pakistanis in Dhaka, Rangpur and Memon Singh, and helped 1,390 people in setting up small businesses, while 27 other projects have also been launched for their economic improvement.

He urged the government and civil society organisations to come forward and help in bringing about social, economic and political improvement in the lives of the stranded Pakistanis. (ANI)

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