Bengalis in Pakistan
|Est. 200,000 immigrants of Bengali origin
100,000 registered Bengali immigrants
Est. 100,000 – 500,000 illegal migrants from Bangladesh
|Regions with significant populations|
|Bengali · Urdu · English (Pakistani English) · Bangladeshi languages|
Pakistani Bengalis (Urdu: پاکستانی بنگالی ) are those Pakistani citizens, who migrated from East Pakistan, later Bangladesh, and settled mainly in Karachi. There are around three million Bengalis (1.7% of Pakistan's population) in Pakistan.
Migration from East Pakistan
Many of the people are migrants from East Pakistan, settled in the present day West Pakistan, and remained loyal to Pakistan, while others immigrated from Bangladesh later. Much of the Bangladeshi-origin population also includes the thousands of stateless Biharis, Stranded Pakistanis, who were allowed resettlement in Pakistan. Surur Hoda was actively involved in issues relating to Bihari refugees in Bangladesh. Surur Hoda organized a delegation, headed by Ennals and Ben Whitaker, which contributed to nearly 200,000 refugees returning to Pakistan.
Suppression under Bhutto's Rule
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2013)|
By 1995 however, continuous migration led it to cross the 2,500,000 mark. During the administration of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, some top advisers became concerned with the large Bangladeshi migrant population, afraid they could become second largest group in Karachi after Urdu-speaking Muhajir people and disturb sensitive demographics. Accordingly, Bhutto ordered a crackdown and deportation on Bangladeshi immigrants. Benazir Bhutto action strained and created tensions in Bangladesh–Pakistan relations, with Khaleda Zia, who was in power in Dhaka during the time, refusing to accept the deportees and reportedly sending two planeloads back towards Pakistan and Muslim political parties in Pakistan also criticized Bhutto and dubbing the crackdown as anti-Islamic. She was ultimately forced to abandon the order.
There are numerous Bengali colonies in Karachi, often called "Mini Bangladesh", such as Machar Colony, Musa Colony and Chittagong Colony. The Bengali communities in Pakistan are also adopting Urdu and are assimilating with Muhajirs. When one walks through these colonies, one can see the colorful Bengali signboards, Bhashani caps, lungis and kurtas. The Chittagong Colony has a bazaar, which was famous throughout Pakistan as the center for Dhaka cloth. In more recent times, the Bengali population has seen a decline as the perilous journey from Bangladesh has been fraught with danger and tense borders. Furthermore given the tense ethnic rivalries and lack of social welcome in Pakistan Bengalis have now been travelling elsewhere.
Culture and education
- Munni Begum
- Habibullah Bahar Chowdhury
- Raja Tridev Roy
- Zaib-un-Nissa Hamidullah
- Alamgir (pop singer)
- Jalaludin Abdur Rahim
- Roopa Farooki – British writer (half Pakistani, half Bangladeshi)
- Ikram Sehgal
- By Abbas Naqvi (17 December 2006). "Falling back". Daily Times. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
- McRobie, George (30 June 2003). "Surur Hoda". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2011-07-08.
- INDO-BANGLADESH STANDOFF
- "Homeless In Karachi". Outlook. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
- "Falling back". Daily Times. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
- "Official Website of Department of Bengali". University of Karachi. Retrieved 2014-01-22.
- Bangladeshi migrants struggle in Karachi slum (video)
- Homeless in Karachi
- You Can't Get There From Here: Bengali immigrants in Pakistan now wish they'd never left Bangladesh
- Bengali immigrants in Karachi polarised over violence in Bangladesh
- Bengalis afraid of losing their identity and rights