A family of Pakistani origin who have been residing in Bahrain for the past 56 years, is seeking the sympathy of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to gain Bahraini citizenship.
The family has been struggling for more than 17 years for Bahraini Nationality which the late head of the family, Syed Jafar Ali, applied for in 2000. He came to Bahrain in 1955 and worked as an engineer in Gulf Hotel Bahrain for 40 years till his death in 2005.
Hasina Jafar Ali, his widow, aged 67 said that her family has been living in Bahrain for the last three generations but they are still considered as “non-Bahrainis”.
Her children including 49 year old daughter Riffat Shafi and three sons Syed Wajid Ali, 48, Syed Amjad Ali, 47 and Syed Babar Ali, 40, were born and brought up in Bahrain. None of them has ever been to any other country.
The family was interviewed almost 10 times since the year 2000 and has submitted numerous requests to Immigration and the Royal Court to follow-up on their application status but each time they have been informed that “you are on the waiting list”.
There are many other Pakistani families who are facing a similar problem. According to the estimate of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation, there are almost sixty thousand Pakistanis in Bahrain and they have been here since 1920. Bahrain is the first Arab country to grant citizenship to people who served its country.
Source Credit: Daily Tribune