PRC facilitates repatriation of 25 BD detainees

KARACHI:The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) facilitated the voluntary repatriation of 25 Bangladeshis detained in Karachi jails, who were sent back to their home country on Wednesday.


The detainees were charged under the Foreigners Act and had already completed their respective sentences. The PRCS, on the request of Sindh Home Department via Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, arranged the voluntary repatriation of these Bangladeshis to their home country under its Restoring Family Links (RFL) program.


The International Organization of Migration (IOM), on the request of PRCS extended financial assistance by arranging air tickets and repatriation support, which includes $250 in cash each, non-food item kits, Covid-19 tests and transportation and accommodation support in Bangladesh for the 16 detainees out of 25. Later, the Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Karachi arranged air tickets for the remaining nine detainees.


PRCS organized a farewell ceremony for the repatriation of Bangladeshi detainees at the District Jail, Malir. In his remarks on the occasion, PRCS Chairman Abrar ul Haq said the RFL is a key program under which the PRCS endeavors to restore contacts between family members on humanitarian grounds. He said the PRCS is in a unique position to undertake such initiatives due to its extensive reach as well as potential to assist people who are separated from their families, wherever they may be.


In her remarks, Shahnaz S. Hamid, Chairperson, PRCS Sindh Branch, commended the officials of the RFL Department of PRCS-Sindh for exploring and highlighting this important issue. She thanked the Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Karachi for assisting in arranging visas and providing air tickets for repatriation to the nine detainees. She also lauded the important role of PRCS National Headquarters Islamabad in responding promptly and expediting the matter with other humanitarian partners.


Chairperson PRCS Sindh appreciated the activities of IOM and thanked them for providing financial assistance in arranging air tickets for the repatriation of Bangladeshi nationals.


Shahnaz Hamid uttered that the PRCS gifted a travel kit to the 25 released persons as a token of friendship. In addition, 200 blankets have been handed over to Malir Jail for deserving prisoners. In her address, she added that during the first wave of COVID-19, the PRCS with the support of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) had distributed a large number of coronavirus prevention items including masks, sanitizers, hygiene kits, etc. to more than 19,000 inmates at 29 jails in Sindh.


The ceremony was also attended by Provincial Secretary, PRCS Sindh Kanwar Waseem, SSP District Jail Malir Muhammad Aslam Malik and DSP District Jail Malir Syed Arshad Hussain.