Owing to the tireless efforts of Christian advocacy and charity group British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA); Pakistani Embassy in Thailand had agreed to succor the stranded Pakistani Christians. Pakistani Christians who had fled to Thailand in an effort to evade religion-based persecution in their own homeland.
Chairman BPCA, Wilson Chowdhry visited Thailand and Malaysia, in order to find facts regarding the plight of Pakistani Christians seeking asylum in these two countries. During his visit he met with more than 400 asylum seekers, at the same time paid visits to 8 churches and discussed the issue with 16 pastors.
As a part of their retrieval mission, BPCA endeavored to approach the United the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), along with Pakistani Embassies in Thailand and Malaysia. The aim was to channelize dialogue with the Malaysian and Royal Thai governments via UNHCR and the Pakistani embassies.
After fact-finding exertion BPCA reported that the Pakistani Christians seeking asylum in Thailand are troubled by a number of glitches:
“Lack of support from their Pakistani Embassies despite not having revoked their nationality and their continuing desire to return to Pakistan when the nation was safer for Christians.
Lack of medical care for their sick or any other welfare provision by the Royal Thai and Malaysian Governments.
Inability for them to work legally which left them prone to exploitation or scratching out an existence through charitable handouts.
Threat of arrest and detainment and the recent cancellation of bail for visa over-stayers in brutal Immigration Detention Centers [unless detainees have existing serious health concern or are women with children inside IDC]
A few of the asylum seekers had become so depressed with their re-persecuted status, especially those with family members in the IDC, that they sought repatriation and assistance with the costs of travel home.” BPCA report states.
BPCA head Wilson Chowdhry, and his comrade when arrived at the Pakistani embassy in Bangkok they were greeted by Third Secretary Kamran Dhangal. Wilson Chowdhry presented a copy of the BPCA’s latest publication which is titled: “Education, Human Rights Violations and the scandal involving UNHCR and the Christian Asylum Seekers in Pakistan,” to Kamran Dhangal. The Third Secretary accepted the report with keen interest and agreed to administer all possible help to the dejected Pakistani Christians in Thailand.
Patently Pakistani Christians are not being offered much assistance from the Pakistani embassies in Thailand and Malaysia although they are entitled to diplomatic assistance till they renounce Pakistani citizenship.