36 years ago, on December 16, 1971, then East Pakistan became Bangladesh.
Last year Adil Najam had a very touching post on the same topic and I’ll strongly recommend a revisit to it here. Raza Rumi had also written a post after revisiting Dhaka recently.
I belong to a generation which did not see those times. My knowledge about this significant event of our history comes from the books I’ve read, things I have heard on the media and from elders, and from Pakistani and Bengali friends I’ve talked to.
A lot of water has passed under the bridges since then. Both nations have gone through a lot in these 36 tumultuous years. Whatever the past may have been – the good times and the bad – we at ATP pray for a bright future for both Pakistan and Bangladesh. We want to wish good luck to Bangladesh and its citizens for a bright future.
This December 16 is also time to seriously think about those Pakistanis who remain stranded in Bangladesh living in camps.
These are people who consider themselves Pakistanis, want to live in Pakistan, and whom we have ignored and forgotten. It is time to welcome them. If Pakistan can give refuge to millions of people from its western bordering country, we can welcome the few thousand who are our own, who remain stranded and stateless in Bangladesh, and who want to return to Pakistan.
Its time to bring them home!