UNHCR in Malaysia treating Pakistani Christian asylum seekers unfairly

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Pakistani Christians in Thailand

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Malaysia is showing a biased attitude towards Pakistani Christians seeking asylum in the country.

In keeping with details, the UNHCR is treating Muslim asylum seekers from Myanmar, Syria, Iraq and other Islamic countries on priority basis. Whereas, the cases of Pakistani Christians seeking asylum are being delayed unnecessarily.

For this cause Pakistan Christian Congress has been raising this issue on various platforms. PCC has received a report from Malaysia that initially UNHCR gives Pakistani Christians a time period of two years at least for first interview after which they would be registered as refugees. After keeping them waiting for two years already they are made to wait for another two or three years that the UNHCR issues a date for the final interview after which their asylum status is decided.

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PCC further criticised that in sharp contrast, UNHCR is giving a period of few months to Muslims asylum seekers from Myanmar, Syria, Iraq and various other Islamic countries.

Moreover what adds to the plight of Pakistani Christians seeking asylum in Malaysia that the Malaysian police regard all refugees as un-registered and illegitimate until they do not appear for an initial interview with the UNHCR after which they are registered as refugees. In view of this, when Pakistani Christians seeking asylum wait for two or three years for an initial interview they face maltreatment and harassment from the Malaysian police for these two or three years until their first interview with the UNHCR.

In this regard, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC, Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti has shown great concern over mistreatment with Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He has strongly criticised the offices of UNHCR in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. “PCC urges Secretary General Ban Ki Moon of UNO to direct UNHCR to adopt same standards to deal with cases of Muslims and Christian refuges in South and South Eastern countries.”

At the same time, Dr. Bhatti urged the European Union to take in the Pakistani Christian asylum seekers and facilitate them as well. He also urged the international NGO’s and humanitarian organisations to help the Pakistani Christian refugees stranded in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and in Hong Kong.