World attention has been focused on the millions of refugees who have poured out of East Pakistan into neighbouring areas of India.
World attention has been focused on the millions of refugees who have poured out of East Pakistan into neighbouring areas of India. Less has been heard of the refugee situation within East Pakistan.
Visnews cameraman Bill McConville this week visited the Mohammadpur Relief Camp near Dacca, where some 3,500 Bihari widows and orphans are being cared for. The Biharis are a Muslim minority group - about six million migrated from India to Pakistan at partition in 1947.
According to official Pakistan sources, some half-million Biharis and other non-Bengalis were killed in the recent fighting in east Pakistan.
The Mohammadpur camp is reputedly the largest in East Pakistan.
Meanwhile in Dacca Mr. Nurul Amin, president of the Pakistan Democratic Party, welcomed the plan broadcast on Monday (28 June) by President Yahya Khan, providing for a transfer to civilian rule in four months. Nurul Amin is a former leader of the National Democratic Front and a respected politician. But in the 1971 elections his party gained only one seat.
SYNOPSIS: In recent weeks world attention has focused on the plight of refugees flooding from East Pakistan into India. But East Pakistan is also faced with the problem of distresses and homeless people. Some 3,500 widows and orphans are being cared for at the Mohammadpur Relief Camp near Dacca, the East Pakistan capital.
The people in this camp are Bihari Muslims, part of the six million who migrated from India to Pakistan at the time of partition. The Pakistan authorities claim about half a million Biharis and other minorities were killed during the fighting in east Pakistan.
The spectre of disease hovers over the relief camps, in Pakistan as in India. Medical staff give vaccinations to new arrivals, especially the children, to combat the threat of cholera.
More than three thousand other Biharis have been released from this camp, but it may be months before all can return to normal life.
Meanwhile President Yahay Khan has promised a transfer to civilian rule in four moths. Nurul Amin, respected leader of the Pakistan Democratic Party, recorded these comments in Dacca.......