A seminar by Pakistan Refugee Council has stressed upon the need to welcome back thousands of Pakistanis languishing in make-shift camps in Bangladesh. Speakers at the forum stated that these individuals have been deliberately victimised through draconian laws and they are hence forced to live in sub-human conditions for their sin of siding with Pakistan during the 1971 war. It is a pity that successive governments in Pakistan have ignored them. It is now incumbent upon the present set-up to make arrangements for their return. We accommodated over three million Afghans during the Soviet war. A number of them settled across tribal areas and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and even moved out to other provinces of the country. They were a burden on our economy yet we treated them as our brethren. The unrest that later broke out in the tribal areas was also in a way linked to a section of refugee population, that took up arms and became a threat to the host nation. A report in a national daily is quite chilling. It cities FIA officials revealing that Nadra has so far issued thousands of CNIC cards to Afghan nationals living illegally in Fata. This is only the tip of the iceberg because it is common knowledge that process of issuing CNIC cards to Afghans has been going on for quite some time now. If we could sacrifice so much for the Afghan Diaspora why are we doing nothing to welcome our brothers suffering in Bangladesh? They are peaceful citizens and all they want is to return to their homeland. It must not be forgotten that this section of the Bangali population was against the Indian machinations back in 1971 and did not approve of the division of their country. After the separation of East Pakistan they ought to have been brought back and given Pakistani CNIC. Does our conscience permit us to let our brothers and sisters rot in those prison-like camps? For over forty years they have been suffering, yet still they are proud of their Pakistani identity. Our leaders from across the political divide must revisit their policies. It appears not one of them is aware of their duty to these refugees who are Pakistanis no less. Our economy has seen hard days in the past and surely it can absorb the burden of this population as well. The government needs the will to make it happen. And it needs to do it all the more so since during its tenure it has hardly taken any popular decision. There is no doubt that the move would be hailed by rest of the countrymen.