‘Better to get the death sentence’: Pakistani family faces deportation over disability


After spending eight years in Australia, Faisal Altaf, and his family have built-in absolutely into life in Melbourne.

Faisal works as a mechanic, his spouse volunteers at a area people centre and two of his three youngsters attend a particular faculty.

Fourteen-year-old Maaz and 16-year-old Saim endure from a uncommon situation generally known as Methylmalonic acidaemia – a metabolic dysfunction through which the physique is unable to course of sure proteins and fat.

However, after assessing the family’s software for everlasting residency Faisal informed SBS Urdu they have been advised by the Department of Home Affairs that their two sons “do not meet the health requirement” set out in Australian migration regulation.  It was estimated that the “potential cost to the Australian community” can be $7.three million if the youngsters have been allowed to stay in Australia.

If Saim and Maaz’s purposes for everlasting residence are rejected, underneath the Australian migration regulation the entire family would then have to depart the nation.

Faisal, who initially got here to Australia as a world scholar, fears for his sons’ remedy and security if they don’t seem to be allowed to stay in Australia.

“It’s higher to get the death sentence than deport us,” he informed SBS Urdu.

“There is not any remedy for my [my] kids in Pakistan. They can be bullied due to their disability and I worry for his or her safety.” 

Medical remedy in Pakistan

Limited remedy is on the market in Pakistan for sufferers with metabolic issues. However, just one facility – the  Agha Khan Hospital in Karachi – presents ongoing remedy.

“Centres in collaboration with Agha Khan University have opened up in major cities around the country which help with diagnosing patients suffering from metabolic disorders,” Dr Idrees Shani, a specialist in inner drugs from Faisalabad, informed SBS Urdu.

“For the ongoing treatment of metabolic disorders patients will have to relocate to Karachi as none of the facilities is equipped for ongoing treatment,” he added.

For Faisal, initially from Rawalpindi in the nation’s north, relocating his family to the port metropolis of Karachi in southern Pakistan to ensure that his sons to get the ongoing remedy they want can be troublesome.

“My whole family is in Punjab. Moving to Karachi would be like relocating once again. I would have to get a house and find a job straight away. Whereas living in Rawalpindi I have extended family there. They can help me out with my family, house, job etc,” he stated.

Life in Australia

The family has a robust presence in Melbourne’s area people. Faisal based a group group and now greater than 20 individuals meet twice every week to play badminton.

Both sons additionally play cricket with an area membership.

“Life in Australia has been great. We love it here. Over here I can earn enough and take care of my family,” he stated.

His spouse, Nadia, says she needed to assimilate into society when she arrived in 2015 and subsequently determined to volunteer at the native meals financial institution twice a month.

“I wanted to have a social life and this was my way of giving back to the community,” she stated.

A big value to the Australian group

The Public Interest Criterion (PIC) 4007 (1) (c) (ii) (a) of the Migration Regulations 1994 states if the applicant “results in a significant cost to the Australian community in the areas of health care and community services;”

This particular well being criterion is underneath which each Saim and Maaz’s software was assessed and deemed as “not meeting the health requirement.”

Faisal Altaf stated he was unaware of the particular disability earlier than shifting to Australia, and his youngsters have been solely efficiently recognized after coming to Australia.

He says he is glad they’re lastly getting remedy and emphasised that since shifting to Australia not as soon as have they required a carer for his or her kids.

“For the last four years we have been taking care of the kids without any additional cost or help from the government,” he stated. 

“I believe that the Altaf family will continue [their] positive contribution to our society if granted permanent residency,” – Peter Khalil MP

“My kids visit three doctors twice a year for their regular check-ups which cost about $64 per visit. Medicare currently pays for it but I am more than happy to fork out for this cost myself,” he added.

Community Support

Meredith Lawerence supervisor at Fawkner Community House stated: “Since the arrival of the family the children have developed confidence and self-esteem which has been reinforced by the strong family network their parents have built through their community involvement.”

In a letter of help, MP Peter Khalil, member for Wills stated, “I believe that the Altaf family will continue [their] positive contribution to our society if granted permanent residency.”

Janet Rice, Greens Senator for Victoria stated that “Mr Faisal Altaf and Mrs Nadia Faisal contribute a significant amount of time and effort to their local community in Fawkner,”

Government response to the evaluation course of

A spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs stated the “health requirement is not condition-specific and the assessment is undertaken individually for each applicant based on their condition and level of severity.”

The spokesperson additionally said that the division doesn’t touch upon particular instances and suggested that additional info may be discovered on the division’s website.

On the observe of why the youngsters have been allowed entry in the first place the spokesperson responded by saying that for some visas “primary criteria for the grant of the visa requires that all members of a family unit satisfy certain requirements.”

“If one of the members of a family unit does not satisfy these requirements, then the primary applicant will not meet the criteria for the grant of the visa.” the spokesperson additional added.

Have a narrative to share? If you desire to to share some info or get in contact for a confidential dialogue please e mail: waqar.ali@sbs.com.au 

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