UK Home Office rejects asylum bid of Christian family fleeing persecution in Pakistan

Wikimedia Commons/CanleyThe current offices of the British Home Office, located at 2 Marsham Street, London.

A Pakistani Christian family that has been living in the UK for six years is being forced to return to their home country after the Home Office turned down their application for asylum.

Maqsood Bakhsh and his family left Pakistan in 2012 after he says he received death threats from radical Muslims because of his Christian faith.

According to The Independent, the Home Office has rejected the family's asylum bid multiple times because officials do not believe that their lives would be in danger if they are sent back to Pakistan.

Bakhsh, who lives with his wife Parveen and their sons Somer and Areebs in north Glasgow, is now appealing to the prime minister for help after they were notified that they have already exhausted the application process and no longer have the option to appeal.

'Prime Minister, please help us because I do not understand why the Home Office keep rejecting us,' Bakhsh said, as reported by The Independent.

'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,' he continued.

The Bakhsh family left Pakistan after two men accused of blasphemy were killed outside a court in 2010.

According to the BBC, Pastor Rashid Emmanuel, 32, and Sajid, 24 were charged with blasphemy, which is punishable by death in Pakistan, after they were accused of writing a pamphlet that criticized the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Bakhsh claimed that the people who were responsible for killing the two men had also threatened to kill him and his family because they believed that he was in league with the victims.

He said that four of his friends had been killed by radical Muslims, while another relative is currently serving a life sentence because of the country's blasphemy laws. 'My nephew was kidnapped last month and no one knows what has happened to him,' he added.

Paul Sweeney, MP for Glasgow North East, has been in discussions with the Bakhsh family and is planning to call attention to their situation in the House of Commons.

After the case was highlighted by the Church of Scotland, officials at the Home Office said they would contact the family to discuss their plight, the BBC reported.

Bakhsh, who worked as a data analyst in Pakistan, has been unable to work in Scotland because of his immigration status.

'Not being able to use our talents and abilities to make a contribution to this great country has been very hard and frustrating for us,' he said.

 

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