Maqsood Bakhsh, a Pakistani Christian and his family now living in Glasglow, fled Pakistan in 2012 after Islamic extremists targeted him because of his faith.
Mr Bakhsh who has spent six years seeking asylum is appealing directly to The Right Honourable Theresa May to allow him and his family to stay in the UK after all prior applications were rejected by the Home Office and they were informed they would have no further right to appeal.
Though the Home Offices assert that every asylum case was assessed on its individual merits there seems to be a considerable gap between the UK Parliamentarian’s condemnation of Pakistan’s abuses against religious minorities (click here) and what is painfully experienced by asylum seekers like the Bakhsh family who are fleeing the repercussions of draconian blasphemy laws which carry the death penalty.
This impetus for his flight from his homeland was the 2010 extrajudicial killing of two Christian men outside a Faisalabad courthouse only hours after they had been exonerated of false blasphemy charges. Pastors’ Rashid Emmanuel, 32, and Sajid, 24, were accused of contravening Pakistan’s blasphemy law by composing a pamphlet critical of the Prophet Muhammad an allegation that had no substance or evidence.
Mr Bakhsh, 50, says the killers also believed he was a party to the two men’s supposed offenses and would kill him and his family if they had the chance
The Church of Scotland has drawn attention to the plight of this family and hope the Home Office officials would be in touch the Bakhsh family to discuss their case.
Rev Linda Pollock, of Possilpark Parish Church where Mr Bakhsh is an elder, describes his situation as ” unconscionable” and she further says (click here) :
“I hope that the Home Office will re-examine the family’s case, stop treating them as numbers and acknowledge them as human beings because they have so much to give to Scotland.”
Mr Bakhsh said (click here):
“Prime Minister, please help us because I do not understand why the Home Office keep rejecting us.
“They keep telling us that some parts of Pakistan are safe for Christians.
“It is true that lots of Christians live in Pakistan but once you have been targeted by Islamic extremists who know your name and your face, it is impossible to live.
“Four of my friends have been killed by Islamic extremists and my sister-in-law’s brother is serving life in jail because of the blasphemy law.
“My nephew was kidnapped last month and no one knows what has happened to him.”
Wilson Chowdhry said:
“Given the recent rash of murders and trumped up blasphemy allegations against young Pak-Christian men it is understandable that Mr Bakhsh would press the point that his “sons feel safe here” in the UK.
“Mr Bakhsh’s flight from Pakistan was with his wife Parveen, and their two young sons. Somer and Areebs – then aged nine and seven – are teenagers now and have been acculturated to the freedoms we have here. They would be at considerable risk not only because of vendetta against their father, but because they are not used to or as viscerally aware the restrictions to their basic human rights that would be required of them in Pakistan in order to live out their lives under the pressure of ‘normal’ Pak-Christian teenagers who grew up there.
“The Bakhsh family has reasonable fear that their family would come to harm if they were repatriated to Pakistan. Telling this family that they have no right to appeal given their experience of direct persecution and targeting is not just blocking entry by shutting the door against their cries for freedom but more like slamming the lid of a casket. There is a good reason why Amnesty International’s report on the blasphemy law is entitled “As Good as Dead”. To read this report (click here) .
“At the beginning of this school year Sharoon Masih was beaten to death right in his classroom by his fellow students before the first week of classes were over for drinking water from the same place as the Muslim students; the investigation was botched and the whole murder swept under the rug. (Click here) and (here)
to read more about Sharoon Masih.
“A few months ago cousins Patris and Sajid Masih were viciously beaten and both men were sexually assaulted when the older cousin was forced to his to give oral sex to the younger cousin in the presence of investigators, clerics and accusers, an act which caused Sajid Masih to flee out the fourth story window. Patras, the younger of the two was charged with blasphemy after losing his cell phone when a fabricated post was made on Facebook via his missing phone. To read further the context (click here) and (here) .
“The frightening reality is that Mr Bakhsh has told us that his nephew is missing and they have been unable to locate him. How many more young men need to die or to suffer grievous harm before the statutory authorities take the persecution of Christians in Pakistan – particularly through the abusive blasphemy law – seriously? This family has fled to save their lives, why does the Home Office not accept this fact?”