UNHCR Thailand on Ahmidya and Christian community of Pakistan. By Shahbaz Aziz ud din
17 Apr 2015
It is well established that Pakistan is not safe for religious minorities. Every year independent Human rights organizations like Amnesty International, UN, Human Rights watch and many other publish reports on the situation on religious minorities which is worse day by day.
Since last 3 decades Muslim Ahmidya community take the route of Thailand to enter Europe and Australia and other countries through Asylum and Refugee process. UNHCR Thailand have processed and approved thousands of cases of Muslim Ahmidya community on the basis of worse situation of religious freedom in Pakistan.
The Asylum cases were and are approved on the basis of intolerance, discriminated constitutional laws, discriminative behavior from civil society towards religious minorities. In Pakistan it was not known by other persecuted religious minorities how to escape persecution and they had no way to save their lives. In result many persons belong from religious minorities especially Christians were beaten, murdered by the violent and angry Muslim mobs.
For last three decades UNHCR Thailand was affirming cases and processing them fast, within the time frame. And still on the basis of previous record of cases of Ahmidya community asylum cases are processed in time and results are given in 3 to 4 months.
It is really strange that since Christians from Pakistan have arrived here to escape persecution, majority of their cases are delayed, processing is slow, and results are given after 1 year and in negative decision. The question is if Ahmidya community is not safe due to persecution, as a religious minority, how come UNHCR Thailand is not giving same importance to the cases of Christian community coming from same country. Ahmedi’s have liberty that any Muslim can convert to Ahmedi and later can reverse after going abroad through UNHCR process.
Many Sunni and Shia’s convert and have certificate from London and Canada based offices of Ahmidya community to be confirmed Ahmedi and got favor from UNHCR. What is the connection of that single page certificate with Asylum cases and how come UNHCR feel comfortable that person who brings certificate is Ahmedi, so he/she are persecuted religious minority. Why all the process of UNHCR gives favor to that single certificate. Many sunni and shia Muslim convert to Ahmedi just year before get certificate of being Ahmedi and make fool to UNHCR and get favor. A Systematic way to fool UNHCR procedure is adopted.
On the other hand Christians from same country are not considered people on risk and their cases are rejected and delayed. Christian persecution on high wave and systematic cleansing is going on against Christians. Their homes and areas are burnt, girls are abducted and raped, Judicial and constitutional system of Pakistan is against Christians, they are looted, killed and burned alive but UNHCR Thailand is not considering their cases. There are several reasons for this worse situation of Asylum cases of Christians from Pakistan in UNHCR Thailand.
1. Christians does not have favor from inside; mostly interpreters in UNHCR Thailand are Ahmedi and Muslim.
2. All Ahmedi are under Jamat surely these interpreters are connected with Jamat.
3. Language barrier is another problem, mostly officers are Thai and they are unable to speak English language. So Muslim interpreters have all freedom to translate / interpret as and what they want. Recently a Christian family visited UNHCR office and the interpreter start advising instead of his duty, the Thai lady officer asked what the lady(asylum seeker) is saying and he(interpreter) said “nothing”
4. Incompetent Thai staff is sent on gate to meet Asylum seekers. They cannot speak English and problem remains worse for Christian Asylum seekers.
5. Complains from Christian Asylum seekers are not favored to resolve.
6. Medical problems are not supported specifically to Christian Asylum seekers.
UNHCR Thailand should understand that if Ahmedi are favored due to the reason of persecution in Pakistan, Christians are also coming from same country and their condition is worse than ahmedi community. Ahmedi’s have businesses, own city “Rabwah” in Pakistan.
In recent crack down from Thai government, the mainly affected are Christian Asylum Seekers. IDC is full of them and their cases are not heard on urgent basis.
Ahmedi’s can afford visas as they are well established in Pakistan and abroad, Christians are not able to get visas as they have no financial backup. The impression in UNHCR Thailand is that Christians are liars and they have no problem in Pakistan and UNHCR Thailand considers them economic migrants instead of a persecuted community. I salute to Christians of Pakistan who returned back to country due to long processing time from UNHCR Thailand, but never repent from faith, they accept to die but not to convert from one sect to another for the gain of economic migration as it is said “Justice delayed is justice denied”.
I salute those who are still here and knocking at the door of UNHCR Thailand for justice on their asylum cases, God will open door for them. Surely God will open door for them.