Diplomatic hurdles for Asylum Seekers.
The government of Pakistan is failing to protect the rights of religious minorities. Discriminatory legislation and the Government’s failure to take action against extreme forces hostile to those who practice a different faith had encouraged the extremists to perpetrate violence and intimidation against religious minorities for their own political interest in Punjab.
Constitution of Pakistan 1973 guarantee to all religious minorities to live and to serve and were barred from *any* commanding posts in the government and non government sector and can performed in to armed forces. Even the founder of Pakistan Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah stated on 11th August, 1947 “You are free; and go to your temples, you are free to go to your Mosques or to any other place for worship in the state. You may belong to any religion,caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” Although The constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan states that every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice, and propagate his religion. However, in reality the Government imposes limits on freedom of religion and freedom of expression or speech is constitutionally subject to restrictions imposed by law.
The largest minorities and peaceful community in Pakistan was targeted by the strict blasphemy law and hundreds of cases were registered against the Christian community.
A Christian exodus resulted in 1995,2009, 2011, 2013 when “Christian Colonies villages and neighborhoods” in Punjab were attacked by the “Muslim Extremists.” Hundreds of houses were torched and several people were burnt alive.
Hundreds of Christians from Gojra and Korian village fled from Pakistan and to Sri-Lanka, Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia in order to preserve their lives and avoid future persecution.
This whole episode further accelerated when in March 2013 Islamic fanatics attacked Christian Colony in Badami Bagh Lahore, and all Saints church Peshawar, Due to the publication of hate material and missed uses of load speaker against religious minorities, Force conversion and extra stress build fear to hopeless minorities to move from homeland to save countries and more than 14000 Pakistani minorities left home land for their safety and security of their children and daughters.
The Government failed to provide protection to Pakistani Christians and other Religious minorities from their voter and supporters fanatics. When the official authorities have failed to save its own sensitive installations from the terrorists, then how can they protect the vulnerable and peaceful and helpless minorities from terrorist organizations? Sri-Lankan Immigration and Investigation police started joint operation against Pakistani Christian Asylum seekers in Sri Lanka and they arrested 1,300 Asylum seekers from Pakistan.
This action was against basic human rights and international norms and principles which state that the host country receiving such refugees cannot arrest anyone who is registered with UNHCR, unless a specific request in sent via Interpol. The action by the Sri-Lankan authorities was therefore illegal under international law.
It seems that something sinister might be taking place behind the scenes to ensure that Pakistani asylum seekers are deported back to their country where they will again tortured and investigate by the different agencies or started work as slaves.
The silence of UNHCR is still confusing and building its negative image against minorities from Pakistan. The international community needs to act as a matter of urgency bring an end to religious persecution in Pakistan and ensure the safety and security of minorities asylum seekers in these countries and to build pressure to UNHCR for his positive role as humanity.