FRANKFURT - Pakistanis who seek asylum in Germany have almost a zero chance of getting a nod from the German authorities, officials here said.

Senior officials at the German Asylum and Refugees Protection office told The Nation that majority of the applications by Pakistanis were being rejected for being “groundless.”

“The people try to misuse the window of asylum to work in Germany. Since the European Union has issued directions to deal with the cases quickly, the weak applications are rejected within weeks. Ninety per cent of the applications by Pakistanis are rejected within no time so they have almost a zero success rate,” one official said.

Another official said Germany was still open to asylum seekers who come from war-torn or troubled countries but the applicant has to be ‘genuine.’

“Previously so many cases were approved. Now we are a bit strict. Pakistani applicants mostly lie about their issues and are unable to prove their claims. They just aim to buy some time before finding some other way of settling in Germany. We are now trying to reduce chances for illegal entrants (into Germany),” he added.

Around 20,000 Pakistanis nationals applied for asylum in Germany this year but more than 90 per cent of them were rejected.

The German government estimates the number of people of Pakistani descent residing in Germany at around 80, 000 to 85, 000.

Every fifth Pakistani in Germany has been living in Germany for over 15 years. Around every fourth Pakistani living in Germany came to Germany less than four years ago. 

Many young Pakistanis have come to Germany recently as students of science and technology from universities. These highly educated Pakistanis are serving in various sectors of the German economy. Most Pakistanis live in Frankfurt, Hamburg or Berlin and smaller cities such as Siegen.

Scores of Pakistanis risk their lives and travel with human smuggling networks on foot from Iran to Turkey or further in Greece. 

Pakistan People’s Party Germany President Syed Zahid Abbas Shah, who is a regular visitor to the asylum office, told The Nation that the overall approval ratio for the applicants had dropped.

“It is not only for the Pakistani applicants. The requests by the nationals of other countries are also being rejected. Pakistanis do not have strong cases   leading to the ultimate rejection of the applications,” he said.

Shah recalled that a lot of Pakistanis arrived in Germany after General Ziaul Haq overthrew Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s elected government in 1977.

“There were people like Raja Anwar (a former PPP loyalist) who had real threats and there were so many Pakistanis who tried to use the opportunity to settle in Germany. Many succeeded,” he said.

Shah said most of the Germans were not raciest and encouraged everyone living in the country to contribute but there still were some who would try to discourage the ‘outsiders.’

Pakistani businessmen Mazhar Iqbal Chaudhry said the Pakistanis were playing their role to further strengthen the German economy.

“Pakistanis are peaceful and are making their contribution. They have settled well in Germany,” he remarked.

Another Pakistani businessman in Hamburg, Farid Qureshi, believed Germany was the best place to live as so many Europeans were also settling in this country leaving the comparatively weak economies.

“The opportunities are good for the Pakistanis but there is an issue of dual nationality. Pakistanis have to quit their citizenship to acquire German nationality which is a problem. The two countries must sign an agreement for dual nationality,” he suggested.

Mushtaq Naqvi, a Pakistani-German said the Muslims were given due rights. “We have a mosque nearby where we pray regularly five times a day. They have given us religious freedom,” he maintained.