Challenges faced by Pakistani asylum seekers
Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) President Dr. Nazir S Bhatti has expressed serious concerns over the arrests of Christian Pakistanis seeking asylum in Bangkok. Based on reports received in the past days, hundreds of homes of Pakistani refugees, awaiting hearings for the recognition of their right to asylum, were searched by police in the Thai capital.
According to the World Vision in Progress (WVIP), the situation of Pakistani asylum seekers in South-East Asia is becoming more difficult by the day. Pakistani Christians were forced into exodus from Pakistan after being victimized by “Blasphemy Law”, “Forced Conversions” and accusations of preaching in order to convert them from Islam to Christian faith. UN agencies, Churches and many other organizations are focusing efforts to protect and help the Pakistani community in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia, but they however face many challenges in immigrations departments of these countries. There has been a recent crackdown on ‘illegals’. Last week 100 Pakistani Christians were arrested in Sri Lanka and 11 in the past hours in Bangkok because without valid stay permits.
Bhatti assured that he will inform the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, other international humanitarian organizations and the governments in question on the plight of Pakistani asylum seekers in Bangkok, Colombo and Malaysia. [PL/BO]