Pakistan's industrial base is able to supply many of the country's needs in consumer goods, although production has slowed in recent years. The country's natural resources provide materials for such industries as textile production (the biggest earner of foreign exchange), oil refining, metal processing, and cement and fertilizer production. Remittances from Pakistanis working abroad constitute the second largest source of foreign exchange. Since the mid-1950s electric power output has greatly increased, mainly because of the development of hydroelectric power potential and the use of thermal power plants. Pakistan's chief imports are petroleum, machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, and edible fats and oils. The chief trading partners are the European Union nations, the United States, Japan, and China. In the late 1990s, following years of lax fiscal policies, Pakistan appeared on the verge of bankruptcy, with a foreign debt of over $30 billion.
NEW DELHI: Hindus from Pakistan and Bangladesh, who took refuge in India to escape persecution in their homeland, can finally look forward to the prospect of a better life as the Centre on Friday cleared the setting up of a task force to monitor and expedite processing of their citizenship and long-term Visa (LTV) applications.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during election campaign had said that Hindu refugees from Pakistan and Bangladesh would be treated like Indian citizens.
The Awami League, under Sheik Mujibur Rahman, in a campaign for full autonomy in East Pakistan, won an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly by taking 153 of the 163 seats allotted to East Pakistan. The opening session of the National Assembly, scheduled to meet in Dhaka in Mar., 1971, was twice postponed by Yahya Khan, who then canceled the election results, banned the Awami League, and imprisoned Sheik Mujib in West Pakistan on charges of treason. East Pakistan declared its independence as Bangladesh on Mar. 26, 1971, but was then placed under martial law and occupied by the Pakistani army, which was composed entirely of troops from West Pakistan. In the ensuing civil war, some 10 million refugees fled to India and hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed. India supported Bangladesh and on Dec. 3, 1971, sent troops into East Pakistan. Following a two-week war between Pakistan and India, in which fighting also broke out along the India-West Pakistan border, Pakistani troops in East Pakistan surrendered (Dec. 16) and a cease-fire was declared on all fronts.
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