Australia’s High Court denies refugee status to two Pakistanis


CANBERRA: Australia’s highest court rejected the refugee claim of two Pakistanis and a Nepalese asylum seeker on Wednesday citing the reason that they could find somewhere safe to live in their homelands.

The High Court unanimously upheld the decision of the Supreme Court of Nauru, where the asylum seekers have lived since 2013.

The three men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are among the last to bring to Australia their challenges to Nauru court’s decisions. The High Court has not been able to hear Nauru appeals since March 13, after the tiny Pacific atoll ended an agreement that had given Australia oversight of its court rulings since 1976.

One of the two Pakistani men, who is a resident of Peshawar, had told the courts he feared being persecuted by the Taliban if he returned to Peshawar.

The court found while there was a real possibility he would be harmed in Peshawar, he could move elsewhere in Pakistan.

The other Pakistani was from Sialkot but had lived most of his life in Karachi, where the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is headquartered. He feared the party would harm him because he had injured one of its senior members.

The court found that he could live in Punjab, where the party had no power or influence.