Scottish Christian teens 'terrified' to face deportation back to Pakistan

Two Scottish Christian teenagers have said they are 'terrified' of being deported after facing death threats because of their faith.

Somer, 15, and Areeb Umeed Bakhsh, 13, have lived in Glasgow for six years after fleeing Pakistan in 2012 after two Christians were gunned down in the city of Faisalabad in 2010.

Somer and Areeb Umeed Bakhsh, who are 15 and 13 respectively, said they were 'terrified' that they would be killed by Islamist extremists if they and their parents, Maqsood and Parveen, are not granted asylum.Church of Scotland

The boys' father, now an elder at Possilpark Parish in the Church of Scotland, said those responsible for the attack knew where he lived and wanted to kill him.

The 50-year-old said four of his friends have been killed by Islamist extremists and his sister-in-law's brother is serving life in jail because of Pakistan's blasphemy law, which carries the death penalty.

However the family's appeals for asylum have repeatedly been rejected by the British government.

Speaking on World Refugee Day the 15-year-old Somer said: 'I love Scotland and I do not want to go back to Pakistan.

'The thought of it terrifies me and it is very stressful to even imagine going back there.

'I wouldn't have a future and I can't even read or write Urdu. I want to live here in Scotland, it is my country and my home.'

Areeb, 13, added: 'I am so happy living in Scotland and I am scared to go back to Pakistan.

'I am really afraid and I can't imagine living a normal life there.

'I am so happy living here, I am getting the right education and our lives are not under threat. I have spent most of my life in Glasgow and consider myself a Scottish boy.

'I do not know anything about Pakistan or the language.'

Paul Sweeney, MP for Glasgow North-East, is urging immigration minister Caroline Nokes to extend their permission to stay while the Home Office examines their case.

'I have met the family and was disturbed to learn that they are at risk of deportation to Pakistan where they have already faced discrimination and very real death threats for their Christian beliefs,' he said.

'This family have already contributed a huge amount to our local community of Possilpark in Glasgow through the parish church and are exactly the sort of people that our country should be welcoming with open arms, not casting out to a dangerous future.

'It is shocking that a highly skilled and motivated family like this have been kept in limbo for so long, unable to work or even drive a car.'

He added: 'They are in every respect naturalised Scottish boys, having lived here for more than six years now and quite apart from the dangers they would face, it would be inhumane to deport them to a country they have barely any memory or knowledge of.'