Around 50 Pakistani asylum seekers have been deported from Norway. Many more will soon be sent back to their home country or to Russia, with stricter rules for asylum seekers introduced by the Norwegian government.

More than 400 Pakistani citizens have applied for asylum in Norway during the current year, where most of them have crossed the Norwegian-

Russian border in the High North during the last month. However, the authorities consider that most of those currently crossing the border are not fleeing from civil war or persecution and thus do not having a good enough reason to seek asylum. Earlier this autumn, the majority was from Syria. Now, well over half are from other countries, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan. A large proportion of them are single young men. “Few are entitled to protection and they are putting an unnecessary burden on the Norwegian system,” the ambassador said.

Under the international Refugee Convention, a person must be in real need of protection, to seek asylum. People whose applications are denied must return to their home country or country of habitual residence. Those who do not leave voluntarily will be returned by force, where asylum applications that appear likely to be denied will be given priority and fast-tracked. "Applications from Pakistani nationals generally falls into this category", added ambassador Nedrebo.

The UNHCR points out that Pakistan was the “sixth highest source country of asylum seekers in the industrialised world” in 2014 –an unviable position. This is extremely worrying as we are relatively safe, compared with Iraq and Syria, and though persecution exists, it is not by the state, but by non-state actors and private groups. We still have a working state system, and we have poverty, but not death and famine. The Norwegians do not owe our citizens anything.

We cannot tell how many Christians or other non-Muslims have left the country to seek asylum in other countries in recent years - but the assumption makes one fear what will happen in the future. This phenomenon is not restricted to non-Muslims; where even some sections of Muslim population such as Shias, women and anyone not following the conventional narrative of Pakistan are afraid of losing their lives through persecution tends to desperately want to leave the country. These people will not be able to seek asylum, as their cases are better than those of Syrians and Burmese refugees. They are our lost people, and the only way to save them, and protect them, is for the state to step in and afford social security to minority groups.