New Delhi: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has recommended granting ‘refugee’ status to the 65 Pakistani nationals lodged in Tihar Jail for around three years.

The UN body has submitted its report in Delhi High Court and the Central government. It has also recommended sending these prisoners to some other country as they do want to go back to Pakistan.

The prisoners languishing in the jail include 19 women and 46 men. These prisoners, who belong to a minority Gohar Shahi sect, which is banned in Pakistan, had approached the Delhi High Court pleading not be sent back to Pakistan.

Lodged in Jail number 4&6 in Tihar, these inmates had even burnt their passports and visa papers at Jantar Mantar in April 2007, in a bid to make it difficult for the government to deport them back to Pakistan.

The three-member team from UNHCR met Pakistani inmates in Tihar Jail which interviewed them to know the reasons as to why they were reluctant to return to their country.

Fearing for their lives in Pakistan along with an apprehension that their parent country could charge them under the blasphemy law, they don’t want to return.

UNHCR submitted its report after speaking to each of them individually.

JPN/Bureau