Thailand: Pakistani Christian asylum seeker sexually harassed by Pakistani embassy official

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Christian charity and advocacy group British Pakistani Christian Association reports that an official from Pakistani embassy in Thailand has allegedly attempted to get sexual favor from a Pakistani Christian asylum seeker. The official namely Ayaz is accused of trying to sexually harass Maherwar Ishaq, a Pakistani Christian asylum seeker in exchange for renewal of her passport that expired last March.

Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand

After the case being reported to the BPCA, a complaint against Ayaz was submitted on May 25. BPCA has demanded a fair investigation in the case; claiming that fair investigation would be in the best of interests of other women approaching Pakistani embassy. BPCA has called for ‘the removal of a sexual predator amongst your employed staff’.

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Consequently, a meeting is due to be held between the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Bangkok and BPCA. An official from the embassy has stated that the embassy “has taken a serious note of the complaint by Ms. Maherwar Ishaq as it is unprecedented.”

An official email from the official from the Pakistani embassy has stated: “Therefore, a committee will conduct an inquiry into the matter and it includes one female member, Aqsa Nawaz, head of chancery, who will provide every possible mental and psychological relief to the applicant.

However, as per the rules of business, the inquiry committee can’t conduct official meetings outside the embassy premises to probe the matter. Hence, it is emphasized again that Ms. Ishaq may be asked to approach the embassy directly or we may be provided her contact details so that the just be done after complete investigation,” the email continued.

However the victim remains fearful of possible threats to her life during investigation within the embassy premises. Because of her fears, BPCA is trying to settle an agreement with the embassy to organize the meeting between the victim and the investigators at a neutral location. Nonetheless, Pakistani embassy has refused to conduct investigations outside of embassy grounds.

BPCA Chairman Wilson Chowdhry states: “I wrote to the Pakistan Embassy to seek a removal of the sexual predator who is working in their midsts and has to be viewed as a threat to any young woman seeking a passport, especially any vulnerable Christian. To my chagrin they are insisting they want to interview with Maherwar on their premises. Despite several attempts to resolve this by agreeing to allow the interview at a neutral site where we convinced the UNHCR to provide a protective officer to act as a chaperone, the embassy is stubbornly refusing.”