KARACHI - Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair on Tuesday said pro-Pakistan Bengalis who preferred to stay in the country after 1971 debacle were bona fide citizens of the country, therefore, entitled to every right guaranteed under the Constitution.

Talking to a 21-member delegation of the Pak Muslim Alliance led by SM Farooq and Bachoo Dewan here, the governor said that citizens of Bengali-origin not only worked for Pakistan Movement, but also played their role for its progress.

He assured Bengalis, who stayed back in Pakistan in 1971, that they and their offspring were an asset for the country and all their genuine privileges will be duly protected. "Over the years owing to resource constraints and series of problems many of the areas remained backward in terms of progress, however, situation has markedly changed today and under developed areas are being brought on a par with developed areas," he said.

The Sindh governor said the federal government and all provincial governments were committed to achieving the vision of national development. He reassured the delegation that problems faced by Bengal-origin's citizens will be solved on a priority basis in the province. He said the government will particularly focus on providing Bengali-origin citizens basic civic facilities on an urgent basis, besides safeguarding their essential rights. Talking to Chancellor of Karachi Institute of Economics and Technology (KIET) Air Vice Marshal (r) Salim Arshad and Vice Chancellor Tabraiz Asif at the Governor House earlier, the governor said that higher education focused on research and development is critical for social well being and economic empowerment of the masses

He said that human resource development was crucial for national progress and prosperity.

"Universities and higher education centres particularly those associated with defence institutions are playing important role in the endeavour," said the governor. He appreciated that KIET, established under the aegis of the Pakistan Air Force, was paying equal attention to quality higher level education and research.