A Pakistani Christian woman of 20 years whose fight to walk again after being hit by bomb shrapnel led to her travel to Australia for treatment, has called
for improved asylum access for persecuted Christians in the west.
Kashmala Munawar (20 yrs) was left with shattered bones in her left leg and had to have her right leg amputated as she struggled to become mobile again,
after two Muslim bombers detonated incendiary devices at All Saints Church, in Peshawar on the 22nd September 2013 (click here).
After initially being advised she would not walk again a charity named ‘Children First Foundation’ came to the rescue of Kashmala who was only 17 when
she arrived to the shores of Australia. Watch video form SBS News (here)
Now after three years of being alone and isolated she is calling for Western nations to recognize the true plight of Pakistani Christians. She
wants Britain and the US to stop pampering the nation of Pakistan, who are using their alleged allegiance in the war against terror, to
eke out billions of dollars of foreign aid ostensibly to improve human rights and equality in their country while in reality hatred persists and increases
“Countries in the west still fail to recognize the persecution of Christians in Pakistan.
“We live the worst type of lives constantly fearing being attacked by Muslim neighbours, a police force who don’t want to help us but actually enjoy arresting us, schools in which we are bullied and treated as pariahs – sweeping and sewerage employment is thrust upon us as if it was a blessing or kind gesture.
“Christians fear being caught up in blasphemy allegations and they run to countries in the west to prevent being hanged despite their innocence, but are told they should just give up their property and lives to jealous Muslims and simply move to another city. Yet even those who flee from one city to the next inevitably find themselves persecuted again.
“If It were not for the losing of a leg I would never have escaped the crazy unprovoked hatred in Pakistan, in some ways I am grateful that God took my leg as it has given me a freedom that I could never have imagined, had I still had my leg.”
Kashmala came to Australia with her mother Maryam Munawar (44 yrs), however after 4 months due to Kashmala having reached adulthood, her mother was
sent home. Kashmala has been alone and isolated since, yes help and support has arrived through the many Pakistani Christians living in Melbourne,
but nothing can replace the comfort of being with her family.
Kashmala spoke to BPCA about her loneliness, she said:
“I was terrified when mum returned but it was always going to take a long time for me to recover. Initially I was planning to return home and be with my family after I had healed, however Children First Foundation explained to me that the mobility and freedom I have in Australia would not be supported due to poor infrastructure in Pakistan.
“People there care little for those who are disabled, often they are treated like anathema. Only really wealthy individuals have any chance of having the type of care I may need in the future.
“At first I cried myself to sleep every night through fear of lonliness, but my father regularly consoled me. He tells me I am his brave little daughter though I feel so scared. He has told me to stay in Australia and make a life for myself here, one where I am accepted and an equal – his words and knowing my Jesus is with me gives me hope.”
Kashmala is studying on a social work course at, Lyndel Secondary College in Melbourne and has a passion to be involved in humanitarian work to help
Pakistani Christians stuck in her homeland. She has joined a 8 person volunteer team for the British Pakistani Christian Association, in Melbourne,
who hope to gain approval to initiate an ‘Approved Proposer Organisation’ on the ‘Community Support Programme’ for humanitarian entrants (refugees
and asylum seekers).
Kashmala, spoke about her desire to be reunited with her family, she said:
“I hope one day my family can be reunited with me in Australia, I want then to experience the equality that nations in the west offers for all people, irrespective of their faith.
“My father is a passionate Christian and he will enjoy going to church without the fear of attack or of local prejudice and will be able to worship freely, without restriction.
“If our APO application is successful but my parents still cannot make it to be with me, I will still be as passionate to help others. Every Christian removed from Pakistan is one more that can truly understand the dignity that should be afforded to all mankind.”
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:
“When I learnt about Kashmala’s bravery I was gobsmacked at how such a young woman could overcome the misery and devastation she has had to suffer and still reach her goal of mobility.
“Her passion for God and her desire to make her family proud has strengthened her resolve and this admirable and academic young woman is a huge credit to her family and the entire Pakistani Christian community.
“When Malala Yousafzai was provided asylum in the UK her family were also given dependency status, for this young woman a great injustice has occurred. In a Pakistan children grow up slower, especially females – Kashmala would have been expected to adjust to independent life much later in her twenties.
“She is coping really well but in conversation it is evident she longs for her mother’s care and father’s support, she also misses squabbling with her siblings, all natural family interactions that have been removed for her due to no fault of her own.
“We call on Christians across the globe to pray for this young woman and our impending APO Application. Our God can move mountains and may His will for this project come to fruition.”
BPCA has created a petition and are calling for people to support their application to the Department of Immigration in Australia, please sign it by clicking (here).