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Canadian sponsorship brings hope for murder target Maherwar Ishaq

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Image of Maherwar during less frightening times.

An embassy worker known only as Ayaz is being accused of using his position to try and get sexual favors from a Pakistani asylum-seeking woman named Maherwar Ishaq in exchange for a much-needed renewal of her passport that expired last March.

On 25th May 2017 British Pakistani Christian Association submitted a complaint against Ayaz. The complaint demands a full investigation of the incident stating this would be in the best interests of Maherwar Ishaq and for the safety of other women. BPCA have demanded 'the removal of a sexual predator amongst your employed staff'.  Read full story (click here).

Despite every effort to have Mr Ayaz removed from this post, six months later there has been little progress despite the evidence we have submitted via a Thai solicitor, that includes an audio recording of the sexual harassment and abduction of Maherwar.   


This letter sent to our solicitors for Maherwar Ishaq, was sent on 6th September and finally agreed to allow a chaperone for her during an Enquiry panel interview.  The Embassy still refused to undertake the interview on neutral territory despite Maherwar's exhibited trauma and the threat of arrest in Thailand despite having UNHCR asylum status. Bizarrely the date of the interview was altered and moved to October later and although they agreed to conclude their findings within a month of Maherwar's interview our solicitors advise us that attempts to obtain a conclusion are met with silence or no response.

At first the Pakistani Embassy made it very difficult to proceed with the case by insisting on Maherwar visiting their premises alone for an interview despite the deep trauma such a visit would naturally trigger.  Then when they finally caved in to the demands of the BPCA,  Pakistan Embassy officials invited her stepbrother to a meeting where they threatened to kill Maherwar if she attended the scheduled appointment (click here). At this meeting with the stepbrother of Maherwar, Pakistani Embassy officials also intimated that Wilson Chowdhry Chairman of the BPCA was 'public enemy number one' suggesting that his life was also in danger.

Irrespective of their threats Maherwar bravely attended the meeting and the BPCA paid for her immediate relocation to another city far away from Bangkok.  Maherwar covered her face whilst in public for some time often forced to wear a burka the very sign of oppression she was fleeing from, because of her fear of being recognised.

Pakistani Embassy officials intimated to the solicitor present at Maherwar's interview that they would only proceed with the investigation if BPCA stopped reporting on the matter and asked for one month to finalise their decision.  The interview took place around the beginning of October 2017, we are well over a month since then and now the Pakistani Embassy is failing to respond to solicitors about what action will be taken. 

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA spoke about his frustration, he said:

"The blatant attempts to thwart disciplinary action against the official named Ayaz, by the Pak-Embassy in Thailand, reeks of corruption and protectionism. Worse still, the threats to kill Maherwar mean this young woman is living a life full of terror and anxiety. 

"During her short life Maherwar has had to flee Pakistan after her family members were accused of a blasphemy, she had to flee Thai authorities after they wre arrested in 2014 and then had to deal with a sexual harassment case that could have been much worse and death threats."

"I hope that this opportunity to get to Canada comes to fruition, if not who knows what revenge the Government of Pakistan will take on her return to Pakistan.  Her life is in turmoil and this your woman desperately needs our help."

With regards to death threats to himself, Mr Chowdhry, added:

"Threats to my life are not new.  Several Pakistani officials have previously warned me of the danger of continuing with BPCA's advocacy and humanitarian role and in fact I was beaten up and banished from Pakistan in 2011, after officials deemed my work to be anti-Pakistani and not pro-justice.

"I have had to suffer three weeks of my wife's family being intimidated by Pakistan's secret service - not knowing if I would ever see my wife and children again (click here for catholic herald article). So to some degree I am desensitised to more recent threats but never entirely. 

"Recently BPCA trustees have agreed to pay for life insurance for my wife and I and for a funeral plan for me on the basis of the risks I take and the increased level of threats I receive.  It's daunting and reminiscent of the situation Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti faced but in my case I am a citizen of Britain being harassed by a foreign nation.

"If I ever die mysteriously people will know where to apportion blame."

We have been working hard sharing Maherwar's situation with Canadians who might be able to assist a Sponsorship Ageement Holder as either individual citizens or as a constituent group to help Maherwar and we are very hopeful about the response. We have received word that a Sponsorship Agreement Holder has agreed to work with a Canadian sponsor who volunteers for our group. We need to raise at least 50% of the money before a sponsorship can commence so we need $13,500 CAD. For anyone who might be interested in assisting these two women with settlement more directly through other practical means we would appreciate you contacting us via email to see if you are in the same area of the Canada as the sponsorship group.     

It costs $27,000 CAD for two individuals: Maherwar and her mother, to come to Canada through private sponsorship. We have set up a Chuffed account (click here) but if you would rather give directly you may also (donate funds here) and designate your funds by referencing them Love for Maherwar.

Maherwar is a young woman like so many who have high hopes that they will be able to face a future of opportunity in a country that not only respects her right to worship as she desires, but allows her a place to live a respectable life as single woman where she can work with dignity in a peaceful environment. At 25 y/o she is the one responsible for the care of her widowed mother. A western country like Canada would allow her to pursue a life free from the stigma of what has happened to her through no fault of her own.

If you feel disgusted at the lecherous behaviour of a Pakistani Embassy official in Thailand, please sign our petition (click here). Please also encourage media groups to write about Maherwars plight.

Please email the Pakistani Embassy in Thailand and request justice for Maherwar Ishaq and immediate removal of sex pest Ayaz: parepbangkok@gmail.com

Please email the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan and ask them to keep women safe from Ayaz:
secretary@president.gov.pk and info@pmo.gov.pk

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