Marginalised Bengali community faces violence, oppression in Pakistan's Karachi

·2-min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 1 (ANI): The Bengali community, whose strength in Karachi is estimated to be around two million, has been facing violence and oppression in the city.

Sania Arif, in an opinion piece in The Pakistan Daily, informed of a gruesome August 5 incident where a tortured body of a labourer was found hanging from a tree in Karachi's Machar Colony. The labourer had gone missing two weeks before his body was found.

The victim belonged to the marginalised Bengali community and worked at a fish cleaning and packing factory at the Karachi Fish Harbour. He had an altercation with his employer, after which he went missing. The suspects subjected the victim to torture before stabbing him to death with a sharp-edged object.

Historians note that Karachi has been a city of migrants for centuries. But analysts say there is also political fragmentation, economic disparity, demographic pressures, and steady erosion of the state's institutional capacity and the heavy footprint of international conflict, reported The Pakistan Daily.

There has been a steady escalation in violence in Karachi - led by political violence, says Arif.

Karachi has 1-2 million ethnic Bengalis from Bangladesh, most of whom came during the 1980s and 1990s. The Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951 stipulates that people who were residing in territories that now comprise Pakistan prior to Dec 16, 1971, would continue to be citizens of Pakistan, and their children would be considered citizens of Pakistan by virtue of their descent.

"The parliament mainstreamed the Federally Administered Tribal Areas but the plight of Pakistani Bengalis gets no serious consideration. We will have to make renewed efforts to bring our case to attention when the next parliament is sworn in," Action Committee for Pakistani Bengalis Chairman Shaikh Mohammad Siraj said.

Most of the Bengali community works as labour. Experts say that in Pakistan, labour is the most oppressed class. They work hard for the country to uplift its economy but in turn, they do not get enough to live a satisfying life. (ANI)

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