Dhaka: Bangladeshi Cabinet Wednesday approved a
draft law to return land to members of the Hindu families,
which were confiscated by the erstwhile Pakistani regime when
they fled the country during the 1965 Indo-Pak war.
"The Cabinet approved Vested Property Return (Amendment)
Act 2009 to be tabled in Parliament" restoring a nearly
identical law enacted during the previous 1996-2001 tenure of
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina`s Awami League government, her
press secretary Abul Kalam Azad told reporters.
The proposed law is meant to redress the long-disputed
law of the Pakistani era, which was widely criticised as a
major violation of the minority rights. During the Pakistan
regime, the law was called as Enemy Property Act.
The then Pakistani regime enacted the law to confiscate
the property of the Hindu families who fled the country when
the India-Pakistan war broke out in 1965.
The post-independent Bangladesh government renamed it as
the Vested Property Act, 1974.
Awami League had enacted the law to return the minority
property at the fag end of its previous tenure setting a
two-year implementation deadline. However, the subsequent
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) government sat on it
leading to its natural death.