Pakistani Christians continue to face enormous persecution, discrimination and injustice in Pakistan. Many Christians have been falsely charged under article 295/C PPC. Many of them tortured, raped even killed by the either angry mobs incited by Muslim clerics or are implicated by the police in false blasphemy cases. The radical fundamentalist groups are supported by the police and security services. The civil society including jurists actually recognized and admitted the plight of the Christians when trying to introduce blasphemy amendment bill 2010. After lengthy deliberations and inputs by the highly educated segments of the society amendments in Pakistan penal code and the criminal procedure code were proposed. Unfortunately all efforts made by the Jinnah Institute headed by Sherry Rehman, presently Pakistan’s ambassador in US, on this front went in vain when the government of Pakistan bowed down to pressure and violent street protests by radical fundamentalists throughout the country.
It is not only difficult but next to impossible even for the middle class of Pakistani Christians to escape from this system of undue and deliberate persecution. They have to face forced conversions and in the process go through brutal atrocities being perpetrated upon them. Most of them lose their lives due to torture in police stations and jails before court trials. If few Christians luckily get a chance to somehow escape from Pakistan to save their life , unfortunately they find doors of protection closed for them in Europe and UK. The right to apply for asylum in another country is a fundamental right recognized by international law. The “right to seek asylum in other countries from persecution” is a key provision in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted in 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Article 14 says • (1) everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
Pakistani Christian asylum seekers face numerous problems in the United Kingdom and other EU countries. Many precious years are being wasted in detention Centres. Proper legal services are needed to identify and assist most vulnerable asylum seeker s, for example women, children and families. There are instances of cases being decided against genuine asylum seekers due to wrong or bad translation etc. Most of them are not able to fully present their circumstances in front of Immigration and appeal tribunals. Many Pakistani Christian women face orders of being forcibly deportation; knowingly that Pakistan is not safe for women especially Christian and Hindu women. Recent cases of rape, illegal detention and forced conversion have been widely reported in the international media.
Under the circumstances it is most respectfully prayed that to uphold international norms of justice, equity and fair-play a lenient approach and free- hand may be given as a policy matter when dealing with vulnerable victims of religious persecution. Pakistani Christian organisations will be more than happy to assist the governmental agencies in identifying and supporting the needs of genuine asylum seekers.
Pakistani Christian organisations in UK and Europe