Persecuted Pakistani Muslim minority seek refuge in China

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by kseeker, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    Persecuted Pakistani Muslim minority seek refuge in China - The Times of India

    SANHE: Fleeing discrimination and violence, members of a Muslim sect have abandoned their homes in Pakistan to find an unlikely refuge in China.

    "Every day I heard the sound of guns," said a 37-year-old surnamed Saeed of his former home Lahore, Pakistan's second city.

    "We prayed every day, because we felt something could happen to us at any time."

    He is one of hundreds of people who have sought asylum in China in recent years, often from conflict and violence-stricken countries including Iraq and Somalia.

    The government tolerates their presence but provides almost no support, while human rights groups have for years condemned Beijing for deporting tens of thousands of asylum seekers who enter it to escape oppression in North Korea and Myanmar.

    Around 35 of the almost 500 UN-registered asylum seekers and refugees currently in China are Ahmadi Muslims -- a sect which believes their 19th century founder Ghulam Ahmad to be a prophet, and that Jesus Christ died aged 120 in Srinagar, in Indian-ruled Kashmir.

    They are among the most persecuted minorities in Pakistan -- a constitutional Islamic republic which bans them from calling themselves Muslims or going on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

    In 2010 militants stormed two Ahmadi prayer halls, killing 82 worshippers in gun and grenade attacks, before targeting a hospital where victims were being treated. Ahmadi mosques and graveyards are regularly desecrated.

    Even high-achieving Ahmadis have been shunned, including physics professor Abdus Salam, Pakistan's only Nobel laureate.

    China is regularly condemned by the US State Department for its restrictions on religious freedom, which analysts say are key elements of the tensions it faces in Buddhist-majority Tibet and mainly Muslim Xinjiang.

    But Saeed, who arrived four years ago, said: "From a security point of view, China is good.

    "There is almost no terrorism compared to Pakistan, where there is killing and persecution of minorities every day," he told AFP in a rented apartment in Sanhe, a city outside Beijing where clumps of high-rise apartment blocks overshadow restaurants offering donkey meat burgers.

    Two of his cousins were killed in the 2010 attack, he added.

    The Ahmadi refugees in Sanhe said they paid middle-men up to $3,000 each for Chinese visas -- more than twice the average yearly income in Pakistan.

    Once in China, Saeed said, "You have to do everything for yourself." He lives off overseas family donations and added: "I don't expect anything from the Chinese."

    New arrivals receive no benefits unless the UN grants them refugee status after a gruelling 18-month series of tests and even then China refuses to integrate them, denying them the right to work while they wait for acceptance from a third country, often for years.

    "In this kind of a situation, you can't enjoy life much," said Saeed. But teenager Laiba Ahmad, who arrived around two years ago with her mother and several siblings, had no doubts, even though she does not have enough Chinese to attend school.

    "I am happy here compared with Pakistan," she said. "Pakistan was dangerous. We could not go outside without our brothers and fathers, if you are a woman especially."

    On a recent afternoon around 10 refugees gathered in Saeed's flat for an English lesson. Practising the present tense, they called out descriptions of their jobless lives.

    "We play football daily," offered Ahsan Ahmad, 22, who fled Pakistan after mullahs attacked two of his uncles.

    "We offer prayer daily," said another student.

    China signed up to the UN's refugee protocol in 1982, but does not have any mechanism to assess their claims, leaving it to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

    Its Beijing office has only eight permanent staff to cover the world's most populous country.

    "Sometimes I wonder how these individuals survive... the assistance we provide is barely enough," said Francis Teoh, senior UNHCR protection officer.

    China adopted a revised entry-exit law last year which entitles refugees to documentation, but refugees and UNHCR said it has yet to be enforced.

    Rights groups have previously accused China of taking a harsh stance towards North Korean asylum seekers in order to maintain good relations with Pyongyang.

    Pakistan has long been an ally of China, which has fought a border war of its own with Islamabad's arch-rival India.

    "Refugee issues in China are tangled with some of the most politically and strategically sensitive issues in the Asia-Pacific region," said Lili Song, visiting researcher at Northwestern University's Center for Forced Migration Studies.

    "There may also be concerns about attracting more asylum seekers," she added.

    Saeed left earlier this week with his wife and two-year-old daughter for a leafy suburb in the US, ahead of World Refugee Day on Friday.

    But others wait on. Yasir Chaudry, 24, a former air-conditioning engineer who left his wife in Pakistan, shares a crumbling apartment with two other refugees who rise in the late afternoon and fill their days surfing the Internet, watching DVDs, or throwing around a frisbee held together with black masking tape.

    "All I have time to do is think, so I think about bad things, like how my family is not together," he said. "I didn't want to leave my country. These problems all come into my mind."
     
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  3. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    What an unlikely choice. There is a large Ahmadi community in Scandinavia and Danmark, specially Denmark and Norway and I am sure these communities have some kind of social wellfare system to support new migrants. Unlike inChina they would not be on their own but have support of their community.

    Pakistan or any other orthodox muslim country is not the right place for Ahmadis to live. The basics teachings of their religion - and I don't call it Islam - can easily be termed as profanity and blasphemy which will only bring them in trouble.

    So for the sake of humanity, I hope the rest of them will move out and have a secure, happy and properous life elsewhere.
     
  4. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    There are also begging for aid.
    Sick people first sough Muslim state for them Shia, Sunnis, ahmadis because could not live with Hindus.

    Now after purging Pakistan of the Hindus Kaffirs, muslims killing other muslims for not being religious. I repeat sick and vicious mentality.

    As per your logic Wahhabis > Surtee> Sunni> Shia> Ahmadis (very well done stratification of humans :) )
     
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  5. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Thank god. If UPA was around, they'd seek refuge in India. And the socialist-elite would justify letting them in.

    "Oh you let Hindus in, why not Ahmedis."

    Enjoy cold noodles now, pakipines.
     
  6. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    35 Ahmadis living on long stay visa doesn't mean they have been given asylum. They should try for Europe or Australia or North America.
     
  7. PredictablyMalicious

    PredictablyMalicious Punjabi Senior Member

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    Seeking asylum in China is a bad idea
     
  8. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    That was the message in my previous post.
    Danmark would be ideal host.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    This is an unfortunate statement that Ahmediyas should not stay in Pakistan or orthodox Muslim countries.

    If that were so, then soon the Europeans will be justified in stating that all Muslims either adhere to Christian ways or should not stay in their countries.

    People should be allowed to stay wherever they want to stay.

    Why should Denmark host those who are not hosted in their own native land?
     
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  10. PredictablyMalicious

    PredictablyMalicious Punjabi Senior Member

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    I think he is just being pragmatic. You can't change the character of a nation over night. Ahmadis are not safe in Pakistan and that is an unfortunate fact of life. Hence they should seek asylum outside.
     
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  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    That is right that he is being pragmatic.

    However, educated people of Pakistan must realise that unless Pakistan changes its mindset, it will be the other sects and minority, one by one, who will be harassed, murdered, pressured, persecuted to leave till only the Sunnis are the sole inheritors of Shia Jinnah's dreams.

    Just imagine the persecution that goes on in Pakistan, wherein people are ready to seek asylum in a totalitarian country, which is already concerned about terrorism being imported from Pakistan.

    My comments are not because of any bile, but because we must have sanity since we dream of a peaceful neighbourhood and I think that there are many in Pakistan who are quite liberal in thought.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
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  12. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    are you shia or sunni?
     
  13. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    I'm abt to speak against "humanity" . Those Nordic states who accept such asylum seekers out of noble motives will (or have already?) get themselves into troubles. Communities from other cultural backgrounds perhaps get "naturalized" (assimilated) with the "mainstream" of host countries easily. But such "pious" Ahmadis, Sunni, Shia sects etc. phewwww:eek: There's a "good"reason for the rise of the Ultra Right. Politically incorrect? Ok let them face the music as the road to hell is paved with "good will".

    Probably u hv no idea China accomodates millions of refugees. News is aired from time to time immigrants are intercepted ferrying acrosse the bay to Hong Kong from Shenzhen, Afghanis and… It would just open a floodgate if…

    Sent from my 5910 using Tapatalk 2
     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    He is a Sunni.
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China has systematically, assiduously and painstakingly built up the 'Han' singularity all over China through its history.

    The have assimilated the non Han or 'barbarians' and have converted them through a variety of means to become 'Han'.

    It was possible earlier since China was isolated and emperors ruled who were not accountable to anyone, especially during the Qin and the Warring States Period.

    [​IMG]

    It is not possible now that there is world awareness and any such action with raise a clamour in the international arena.

    China is very sensitive to any imbalance in the 'Han' identity that they have created. Thus, they are against 'foreign' religions and do not allow the centre of power of such religions to impinge themselves onto China or its culture. As a corollary, they would also not like to have 'alien' cultures that the refugees will bring and infuse and disturb the 'Han' identity.

    Hence, refugees are not welcomed.

    Likewise they are not ready to accept foreign governance systems either.

    Over 200,000 vote as Hong Kong democracy 'referendum' kicks off | Reuters

    The Ahmediyas have no hope in China in the long term.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
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  16. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    I would have same opinion about ordthodox jews if there are any left in Saudia Arabia, Iran or Pakistan. These are orthodox societies, not tollerant or safe for some minorities. Ahmadiyas are one of them.

    Some 2000 jews left Pakistan and Imho they made a good dicision and they are faring well in their new homeland.

    As a hindu or christian you can still have a good life and carriere in Pakistan but Ahmadiyas will always be discriminated and held back. Its painful but also a hard reality. If I were an ahmadiya, I would never expose my children to intollerance and danger, I would migrate.
     
  17. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    .
    .
    nor a single muslim in pakistan is tolerant
     
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  18. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    Stop posting nonsense.
     
  19. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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    is it some sort of joke? pakistan was tailor made for muslim, isnt it? it was supposed to be damn safest country for muslims.
     
  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Pakistan was created so that ALL Muslims could have a homeland which was free of Hindu domination.

    Most left, irrespective of their sectarian difference, since they felt it was a breath of fresh air and liberation.

    However, there is no doubt, that the ground realities has proved otherwise.

    Very unfortunate, especially for the Mohajirs, who thought it was a land of salvation!

    The Mohajirs, irrespective of their sectarian identity, are treated as second class.

    Imagine an Army Chief can be hauled before the Court, when the Army does not tolerate any criticism against it, wherein Geo TV has been closed down!

    Musharraf has been humiliated, all because he is a Mohajir. There are worse General Dictators who have gone scot free. Take the case of Niazi, who brought such shame and humiliation to Pakistan, where half of Pakistan vanished and all this humbug about Islam the uniter went for a toss. Nothing happened to him! Or against Yahyah Khan who was the architect of this humiliation and what is more he was most unIslamic, wherein he was a drunkard and a fornicator - both attracts horrid forms of punishment in Islam. But he too was not held accountable - all because the Army was the deciding factor!

    Take the case of Blasphemy cases against Christians or the rampant forced conversion to Islam.

    Indeed, tolerance is not a word that Pakistan cherishes.

    Neither is tolerance encompassed in the Islamic world. See the chaos in Iraq.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Here is tolerance for you in Pakistan.

    Today's news

    [​IMG]

    ISLAMABAD: The 97th authority meeting of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) was held at its headquarters in the federal capital on Friday. Besides other agenda items, it deliberated upon the matter of violations committed by two TV channels – Geo Entertainment and ARY News.
    According to a press release, after considering all relevant legal provisions, the authority took a serious notice of violations committed by Geo Entertainment and ARY News and unanimously decided to immediately suspend the license of Geo Entertainment for a period of thirty (30) days besides imposing Rs 10 million fine.
    The authority also banned ‘Utho Jago Pakistan’ programme aired on Geo Entertainment, its entire team, including host Shaista Lodhi, forthwith besides banning the re-broadcasting of the programme on any other channel.
    Regarding the violations committed by ARY News, the authority unanimously decided to immediately suspend the licence of ARY News for a period of fifteen (15) days and imposed Rs 10 million fine.
    The authority also banned ‘Khara Sach’ programme aired on ARY News and its anchor person Mubasher Lucman forthwith on persistently airing contemptuous and malicious campaign against the judiciary.
    All of the field offices of PEMRA have been directed to implement the decisions of the authority in letter and spirit with immediate effect.

    PEMRA suspends licenses of Geo, ARY

    ***************************************************

    This proves the oft repeated statement that "all countries have armies, but here in Pakistan, an army has a country."
     

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