I’m heading tomorrow morning to meet with a Pakistani friend who I met back in January. This young man, whose name I’ll keep anonymous for security purposes, is a native of Islamabad, Pakistan. He arrived to Dublin via work visa over eight years ago.
When his work visa ended he filed the necessary paperwork to live (legally) in Ireland. His paperwork, however, even to this day, has yet to be handled properly by the Irish authorities. No one even responds to his phone calls or letters. The solicitor he hired years ago has failed to even find his papers.
I, as anyone with an open heart, was disheartened, frustrated, and a bit disgusted when I heard his story.
In a nutshell, he’s a solid man who’s contributing positively to Irish society. He’s well-educated (business degree from Pakistan), caring of his neighbours and family oriented, all qualities which have been associated to some degree with ‘Irishness’.
Aside from the aforementioned, it should also be noted that this man wouldn’t even hurt a fly. He’s calm, carries an easy-going demeanor and treats strangers with the utmost respect and courtesy. This last point was obvious when he welcomed me into his surroundings with the typical (and famous) Pakistani hospitality.
His positive qualities don’t end there. He’s clearly a hard worker, which is evident in his successful business endeavor. He’s well-respected by the local community in which he works and resides. He also told me about his clean record and how he has never once broken an Irish law (or any law for that matter).
For me the hardest part of his story is the present situation with his mother, who is now ill back in Islamabad. Unfortunately he can’t even visit her because if he leaves he probably won’t be allowed back into Ireland.
This man, quite obviously, exists in a state of fear, paranoia, and overall insecurity.
These conditions, speaking frankly, if I may, are in violation of his human rights.
One has to wonder – why is this happening to him?
Is it because he’s from Pakistan?
Does he have the wrong skin colour?
The wrong name?
Is Ireland a racial state?
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on his story. Perhaps I could use your comments as part of my research.