Today the UK Foreign Office admitted that Christian blasphemy victim Asia Bibi was blocked from being offered asylum for fears of attack to their consulate officials. Frightened UK officials in Pakistan pleaded to the Home Office led by the Rt Hon Sajid Javid, who capitulated to the same extremists that Imran Khan’s government yielded to.
The Guardian Newspaper, wrote:
Tom Tugendhat, the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Chair, asked the Foreign Office permanent secretary, Sir Simon McDonald, whether the episode “does not raise the question that either staff should be withdrawn or security increased or otherwise UK policy is effectively dictated to by a mob?”
Tugendhat took the Committee into a lengthy private session after McDonald said he did not wish to give evidence in public on a such a sensitive issue.
McDonald defended Britain’s efforts to find a third country to take Bibi, saying this would allow UK policy objectives to be achieved without any risk to its staff.
Tugendhat said the episode represented “one of the clearest examples of free conscience being challenged today.”
Read the full article (here)
Wilson Chowdhry has been invited to a meeting with Lord Ahmad the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and United Nations at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Friday at 12:30. Thus far no response has been made to my requests for an audience with PM Theresa May, Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Hunt or Home Office Minister Saqib Javid. Please gather outside the Foreign and Commonwealth office from 1pm as Mr Chowdhry will be sharing the contents of the discussion immediately after the interview. After this we will walk to the Pakistan High Commission and submit our BPCA petition calling for safe protection of Asia Bibi and her family there. Please bring candles as we will hold a peaceful prayer vigil there till 5pm – people of all faiths and no faith are welcome to join us.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, who first revealed this news to the world, said:
“This is a historic capitulation by our Home Office and Foreign Office which sends out the wrong message to extremists, it seems our nation has been hijacked by the extremists and I am sure that many Muslims living here will be just as disappointed as people of other faiths with this diabolical decision.
“I have been accused by more hard-line Muslims of making up this account despite having an email from an APPG Secretary confirming this was the case.
“Moreover, in the email I was shocked to learn that this belief of ’embassies being attacked’ was compounded by a belief of unrest within our own communities – so the full truth is still being delayed.
“I hope the threats to me and my family stop and that people will now accept that I have been honest in my opinions and judgement.
“I still believe that Asia Bibi could find a safe haven in Britain and I call upon Britain to make the right decision and offer her asylum, an invitation I will work hard to compel the family to accept.
“Many moderate Muslims have been sharing their love for Asia and that has been heartening as it illustrates there is a strong sense that justice has to be done for our suffering sister.
So please Prime Minister Theresa May, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt and Rt Hon Sajid Javid give BPCA an audience so that we might share other details pertaining to the case with you.
“Jihadi brides and ex-ISIS soldiers are being welcomed back into Britain and given rehabilitation (click here) but Asia Bibi an innocent Christian is not?
“We need to rethink our asylum policy and save our nation before we widen social polarity and division.
“To some extent I agree that internal concerns regarding extremism need to be considered but this does not negate Britain from the asylum assurances they subscribed to by signing the UN Convention for Human Rights and the UN Convention for asylum.
“If anything we need to tackle the extremism in our country head on and be bold enough to root out the hardliners whose actions are creating immense polarisation.
“BPCA submitted an apostasy hatred report to the UK Home Office Hate crime inquiry. We convinced brave ex-Muslims to contribute towards a case study that highlighted concerns about the threat to their lives for quitting Islam, no more evidenced then when in 2016 Bradford police gave Nissar two weeks to flee his home, because ‘they could no longer protect him’. (click here)
“The case of Tajamal Amar beaten till unconscious for wearing poppies and a cross in his vehicle reinforces cause for concern over increasing extremism in our country (click here). I will not delve too deeply into the 6 terrorists attacks that rocked our nation last year – one by a far-right activist.
“Most Muslims in the UK are disturbed by the extremists, and the fear of islamophobia that led to Pakistani Muslim men escaping conviction in grooming gangs for so long, has contributed to a never-ending pattern of government failings that are slowly destroying our society and has caused international ridicule.”
“We need our government to be strong and decisive so that we can root out these undesirables and make Britain a safe environment for its citizens and the genuine vulnerable victims of the world seeking asylum. A long term solution of what to do with them has to be considered.
He further added:
“I am deeply concerned with the relationship Britain has with Pakistan who remain our largest foreign aid recipient but shows no signs of improvement towards a fairer society.
Perhaps now is the time to terminate foreign aid to Pakistan.
“In 2013 the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) reported that Pakistani Textbooks demonize and caricature minorities even going as far as labelling Christians as spies for the west.
“A 2016 amendment resulted in an equally unfavourable report that suggested 50% had been removed and a further 50% of offensive texts inserted, as once again Pakistan exhibited a lip service approach to change. (click here)
“Britain has been sending an annual budget of £225 million to Pakistan for holistic education every year yet only a reported 7% of Christians attain an adequate level of literacy. If it is proven that our tax-payers money contributed to the textbooks that have espoused hatred for minorities could we then accuse Britain of being complicit in the the genocide that is being revealed in Pakistan?
“Pakistan has been a long term ally in the war against terror yet the US had to undertake a covert operation to kill Osama Bin Laden near the Islamabad capital – worse still he was living in a military cantonment. (click here)
“Ahmadi’s and Christians make up 2% of the population of Pakistan yet they account for 50% of blasphemy allegations, the other 50% are mainly Shia Muslims being targeted by the Sunni Majority.
“A Muslim NGO in Pakistan reported in 2014 that an estimated 700 Christian girls are kidnapped, raped, and forced into Islamic marriage every year. A figure BPCA believes is conservative – the report further highlights how 300 Hindu girls suffer the same fate and yet the world stays silent. (click here)
“11 terrorists attacks have targeted Christians in 6 years causing hundreds of deaths and many more injured compensation for these victims has been limited and often the government has disclaimed targeting of Christians when Muslims have been hurt as part of a collateral damage.
“1 million Christians are enslaved in Brick Kilns and many more in the carpet weaving industry of Pakistan, despite Pakistan having implemented the Bonded Labor (Abolition) Act 1992.
“While injustices like this go on, how can Britain continue to hold such strong diplomatic and economic ties with Pakistan?”
Please sign our petition calling asylum for Asia Bibi (click here) but do not donate on the petition page.
Please sign our petition calling for termination of UK Foreign aid to Pakistan (click here) but do not donate on the petition page.
British Pakistani Christian Association, continues to provide advocacy and humanitarian aid to Christians in Pakistan and people of Britain. We cannot do it without your help please donate by clicking (here)