United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has introduced a new policy for the asylum seekers in Thailand, which leaves Pakistani Christians in dire straits. Pakistani Christians seeking asylum in Thailand are the ones most likely to be affected by the new policy as they remain apprehensive. They allege that the policy has been chalked out in a way as to deliberately target Pakistani Christians asylum seekers – the largest group of asylum seekers in the country.
In line with the new policy, asylum seekers will have only 30 days to file their asylum petitions, previously the asylum seekers had a deadline of 90 days to files their asylum petitions after the expiry of their visit visas. Furthermore, the new policy prohibits communication with the asylum seekers in their own language after the refusal of their applications. UNHCR will issue refusal letter only in English. Apart from these certain other changes are likely to cause disturbance for the Pakistani Christians eyeing for asylum in Thailand.
As reported by Christian advocacy and charity group British Pakistan Christian Association (BPCA) a local rights campaigner remarked that the new policy will affect the Pakistani Christian asylum seekers. He said that these new-fangled changes will burden the asylum seekers who will already be reeling with the trauma of rejection of asylum status.
It has been learned that marooned Pakistani Christians seeking asylum in Thailand are not offered assistance from the Pakistani Embassy. Some of these Pakistani Christians, who had fled persecution in their own homeland, are now opting to return, seeing they had been left high and dry.
Previously, British Pakistani Christian Association had taken up the task to help the re-persecuted Pakistani Christians. For this reason, Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association personally met with the Kamran Dhangal, Third Secretary at the Pakistani Embassy in Thailand. Kamran Dhangal admitted that Pakistan as a nation had failed it’s Christian citizens.