The Speech of Md. Sadaqat Khan, President of U.S.P.Y.R.M
Respectable Ladies and gentlemen,
Wishing our hearty compliments, good luck and best regards to you all by the grace of almighty Allah and also pray deeply for all of your progress and prosperity for all the time.
Honourable ladies and gentlemen,
I think and hope that you are well acquainted with this fact that the present Urdu Speaking People who are residing in the different camp and outside the camps in 13 districts of Bangladesh had come from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal of India by exchanging there residence in the colonial period and were passing days by doing service in private and Govt. Sector, Business of different trades and so on for a few generation. Again many of them came to this religious home-land due to division of sub-continent in the year 1947, leaving their own motherland for permanent settlement. The Urdu Speaking People in the then East Pakistan though they were in some extent a suitable position, But because of some disgusting activities of some limited abhorrent persons in the next period of the great liberation war we were denounced and disreputed and were banished from our home and habitation. We were also deprived of the Govt., non-govt. services and business including all the fundamental rights and thus we all became stranded in camp-shelters established by the International Red Cross Society. As, at that time, there was no security of our life and livelihood, our forefathers gave their option for going to Pakistan to the International Red Cross and this International Society made a survey of the Urdu Speaking People through out the country in 1972. In this survey, about 5,39,669 persons expressed their option for Pakistan. According to this survey about 1,26,941 persons were repatriated to Pakistan officially. The rest of hundred of thousands of them were kept stranded into the camps as refugee The Pakistan Government declared solemnly that they have taken all the repatriatees according to Shimla act. In this matter, the Bangladesh Govt. never made any strong protest, on the contrary kept silent. As a result taking advantage of this unfavourable critical situation, some selfish people, for their own interest, identified and introduced us as the "Stranded Pakistanis" throughout the world. In fact we are not Pakistani, but we are Urdu Speaking People and son of this soil. But due to unfavorable and unfortunate situation we were compelled to take shelter in the several afflicted camps. We were born in this country and were grown up in the light and air of this land. Since we have been living in this country before the great independence of Bangladesh and already we were identified as the "Stranded Pakistanis" all over the world from the beginning. So, we also had been using this name accordingly. But actually we are not Pakistani rather we are Urdu Speaking People. Because, those who opted for Pakistan, most of them have already gone to Pakistan and living there and rest of them have gone under grave in Bangladesh.
At present, the major part of the "New Generation" of the Urdu Speaking camp residents was born in Bangladesh and has grown up in this country. We have never seen Pakistan and we are not familiar with the customs and culture of that country. All of the Urdu Speaking People of the "New Generation" are eventually Bangladeshi in all respect and our citizenship was never rejected in anytime by any Act or Order. We are legally the citizenship of Bangladesh and we do love Bangladesh being our mother land we have become closely familiar and mixed with the soil and people of this country. In spite of this, we were not recognized as the citizen of this country. For this reason, we were fallen victim of great inequality in all affairs as such Food, Dress, Residence, Profession, Education, and Treatment and in Political and Economical field. The Urdu Speaking People have been living in inhuman condition in camps for the last 37 years in Bangladesh. For this reason, the new generation specially the youths of this community have been affected mentally, socially, morally and they feel trouble to develop themselves in comparison of the local youth. Due to not being our National Identity we do not have appropriate facilities for service or employment. We are surviving ourselves depending upon our own work skill and capability. As we are related and connected with camps. So, through this point of view, our children would not be admitted openly into the schools, colleges and madrashas. For being deprived of receiving education, our new generation is going towards ruin and wreck, day by day. On the other hand several lacs of these human being, viz, the Urdu Speaking community people, are compelled to pass their days with their all family members in 8 feet by 10 feet rooms. In many families due to shortage of accommodation they are to sleep by turn at night. Due to want of pure water, mismanagement of garbage and bad sewerage system all together have created serious health problem and for this reason a lot of them have died being affected with chronic diseases without proper treatment. The panic and fear of eviction of the Urdu Speaking People from their camp-shelter, exploitation of their land property and misrule to supply electricity create more problems. All this reasons obstruct the way of their improvement and progress. So, finding no other way, I along with other 10 persons submitted a Writ petition Ref. No. 10129/2007 in the High Court Division of Bangladesh Supreme Court and as such, the High Court Division issued a "Show-Cause Notice to the Chief Election Commission including the relevant Ministry asking for an explanation" why the Urdu Speaking People of the camp inhabitants should not be included in the National Voter list. After a long term hearing by the grace of almighty Allah, on the 18th May, 2008 a Double bench Jury of Bangladesh High Court gave a historical Judgment that the community of Urdu Speaking People living in Bangladesh territory are the citizen of Bangladesh as well as this joint bench Jury directed to the Chief Election Commissioner to enroll the names of all petitioners together with all the Urdu Speaking People who are willing to enlist their names in the voter list and to give them National Identity Cards without any further delay. Which has been appreciated and considered as a Epoch-making Judgment of the history all over the World including Bangladesh. As a result, after a long 37 years all the Urdu Speaking People in or outside the camps cast their Vote cheerfully in the 9th National Assembly Election. For this due success I must thank to God on behalf of our community and hope that after being gotten this right the way of the solution of our major problem like permanent rehabilitation, employment opportunity, proper education will be more easily obtainable.
The Honourable gents and representatives,
I again, would like to inform you that the Urdu Speaking Community who are living in different scattered camps in Bangladesh are not really "Stranded Pakistanis" rather they are Bangladeshi. But for the self-benefit of some selfish people and in the situation of helplessness and compulsion they had to adopt this name. Due to this name we have been deprived of all the rights of this country and blocked the way of all progressive activities of the Urdu Speaking People. Though, even existing in our own country we have been living as refugee in camps in a 10 feet by 8 feet rooms for the last 37 years. So, in the light of above circumstance the Stranded Pakistanis youth Rehabilitation Movement (SPRYM) after having taken the opinion and verdict of the members of its Central Committee, Zonal Committee, Branch Committee, Unit Committee and the camp resident Urdu Speaking People, have converted this name and have giving its new name "The Urdu Speaking People Youth Rehabilitation Movement or in short U.S.P.Y.R.M.
Respectable ladies and Gentlemen,
I would further like to inform you all, that the problem of these helpless people are not just finished completely by getting only the citizenship right and voting right. Because their main problems are the problem of residence and problem of employment. So, with the view of this point, it would be better and most appropriate if they should be settle and rehabilate in the very same area and location where they are already living at present.
It is necessary to educate at least one male or female student from each family of our community and in this connection sincere co-operation and education assistance should be provided.
To take initiative to send at least one job less youth from each family to abroad after giving them proper technical training.
The houses in the Urdu speaking people camps were built 37 years ago by the International Red Cross Society with bamboo and corrugated tin have never been repaired or reconstructed by the Govt., NGO, Donor society or any other help providing Organization till today. As a result many of them are about to breakdown. The sky is seen through the holes of the roofs. In rainy season water drops inside the room and causes to damage all the belongings. In this measurable situation the affected family members have to pass the days and nights by hanging polythenes with the roofs. It has become very necessary to repair or reconstruct these houses by identifying them as soon as possible. For this urgent purpose we seek help and co-operation from the Govt. and different donor countries. NGO's and social welfare societies. But we feel that it is not possible for Bangladesh Govt. alone to manage such a huge fund for this purpose. So, in this respect, we need the mutual help and co-operation from the International Donor countries, Refugee assistance society, United Nation Assistance Society, International Red Cross society, Human Rights Organization and different political party representatives, skilled representatives in rehabilitation work, govt, and non-govt welfare organizations including the sincere representatives of Urdu speaking people community who have done a great job in favour of their Citizenship and are still determined for their proper rehabilitation. It is also requested that a task-force might also be formed with the participation of this community members to solve their 37 year long hanging problems and to look after all the activities as well as until their permanent rehabilitation is not come into being.
I believe and hope that all the Assistance Organizations of Donor countries, Assistance Organization of the United Nation, Assistance Society for Refugees, International Red Cross Society including the Govt. and non-Govt. Organizations of Bangladesh and other local and foreign assistance organization will extend their hands of co-operation and will surely come forward to provide all kinds of help contribution in response to our earnest request requisition.
Khoda Hafez God be with you.
Bangladesh Zinda Badh Long live Bangladesh.
On behalf of the neglected people community
Md. Sadakat Khan
Urdu Speaking Peoples Youth Rehabilitation Movement
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org