New Delhi, 31 October
The protest by Pakistani rights activists couple outside Press Club of India demanding asylum, has entered 18th day today.
Zulfiqar Shah and his wife Fatima, who fought for the minorities, peasants and against blasphemy law in Pakistan, decided to leave their country of birth and to stay in India.
"We were involved in movements for protection of Hindu minorities in Sindh and against the disappearance of activists from Sindh and Balochistan provinces. The Pakistani government forced us to exile, as it did not want us to pursue the movements. Not only this, Pakistani intelligence agency, Inter Service Intelligence (ISI), poisoned us in Nepal during December 2012," Shah said.
He added that both of them had applied for asylum on April 22 this year. They are on medical visa but the Pakistani High Commission has been interfering with their treatment.
The couple alleged that three top hospitals (AIIMS, Indian Spinal Injuries and Moolchand) refused treatment to them and a doctor of Indian Spinal Injuries mentioned about PHC interference.
The activists are also demanding Indian government’s help to prevent PHC in interfering with their treatment. Both of them have been granted refugee status by UNHCR. They have also sought Indian help in opening a bank account.
Shah was the director of The Institute for Social Movements in Pakistan and had been protesting against persecution of minorities. The Pakistani government had closed down the Institute.