ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Wednesday directed the Foreign Office, Cabinet Division and the Establishment Division to submit report within a week about measures taken to bring back thousands of Biharis living in camps in Bangladesh. A three-member bench headed by Justice Ameer Hani Muslim expressed annoyance over non-compliance of the court order.

Deputy Attorney General Sohail Mehmood appeared before the bench and informed that except Ministry of Interior others departments could not submit the report though he had contacted them many times. Upon that the bench again issued order and warned if the ministries would fail then they would summon the secretaries.

Muhammad Aftab, Director at Cabinet Division, informed that a High Court in Bangladesh in 2003 had declared the Biharis living there its citizens and the Supreme Court of Bangladesh also upheld this ruling.

Justice Hani asked the DAG whatever their courts' decisions are but first submit the reports after examining them they would pass the decision. The court directing the ministries to submit reports within one week adjourned the hearing for indefinite period.

There are thousands of Urdu-speaking people living in camps as stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh since 1971. For 41 years, two or three generations of these unfortunate individuals have been living a life of misery, malnutrition and in appalling unhygienic conditions. In the past many heads, the government made a promise to bring them to Pakistan but never came good on it.

In 2009 Advocate Rashid-ul-Haq Qazi, as a representative of the Stranded Pakistanis General Repatriation Committee and the Organisation for Repatriation of Stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh, filed a petition in the Supreme Court, which after five years in May 2014 admitted the petition for hearing

Attorney General of Pakistan Salman Aslam Butt in the last hearing had sought more time from the court to file a reply claiming that he was unaware of the court notice issued in this regard.

According to Rashidul Haq Qazi, counsel for the SPGRC, approximately 160,000 stranded Pakistanis were repatriated to Pakistan in term of Tripartite Delhi Agreement, signed between India, Pakistan and Bangladesh but later on Pakistan has not fulfilled 25 per cent of the terms of agreement and repatriation was stopped unilaterally in 1974.