In a bid to shed light on the plight of Pakistani Christians, a rally was organized where the participants shared their views about persecution of Pakistani Christian asylum seeker in Thailand. During the rally the case of a Pakistani Christian girl Maherwar Ishaq was brought under discussion.
This rally was attended by several Human Rights activists, Mr. Wilson Chowdhry Chairman British Pakistani Christian
Association, Member of Canadian Parliament Garnett Genuis and others. On this occasion, the Canadian MP urges for greater focus on the plight of hard-pressed religious minorities in Pakistan.
The organizer of this rally Keri-Lynn Gibbs, was moved by the plight of Maherwar Ishaq who was sexually harassed in Thailand by one of the officers from Pakistan embassy. Maherwar is a Pakistani Christian refugee seeking asylum in Thailand. She and her family fled from Pakistan, fearing for their lives after blasphemy accusations were hurled at them.
Maherwar once again had to face the ordeal when she was sexually assaulted by a Pakistani embassy staff member in Thailand; when she tried to obtain a fresh passport. Her case was pursued by British Pakistani Christian Association, and was succored. By the dint of efforts from BPCA, THE Pakistani embassy agreed to conduct an inquiry into the allegations.
For this purpose, Maherwar was to be interviewed by the embassy; Maherwar was to be accompanied by a chaperon. It was later reported that the family of Maherwar was threatened; the embassy officials threatened to kill Maherwar if she appeared for the interview. Nonetheless, on September 26, 2017 Maherwar appeared for the interview, yet she fears for life. Maherwar has been shifted to a safe house by BPCA.
In this regard, Canadian MP Garnett Genuis stated: “It was an honor to speak at the Rally for Maherwar at the Legislature today. Fundamental human rights are under threat in many places around the world, but the plight of Pakistani religious minorities is particularly urgent, and it has not received anywhere near the appropriate level of international attention.
I highlighted today that human rights and religious pluralism was the vision of Pakistan’s founder – but the country has strayed far from that original vision. We are pushing the government of Canada to do more to prioritize human rights and religious freedom around the world.”