4 June 2020 - 13 Sivan 5780 - י"ג סיון ה' אלפים תש"פ
Jewish Karachi resident now allowed to visit Israel E-mail

Fishel Khalid, a 31-year-old Jewish resident of Karachi, has been issued a new passport by the Pakistani authorities. The passport lists his religion as Judaism.

In a tweet on 23 January, Khalid said he received a call from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 2 January, informing him that he is now permitted to visit Israel on his Pakistani passport.

Khalid said that he had been in contact with the National Database and Registration Authority of Pakistan (NADRA) since 2016 to register himself as Jew, and that after a long time his request was approved by the government. “I was registered as a Muslim at birth but I told NADRA that I am not a practising Muslim and provided them all the details and documents [to prove it],” he told the BBC.

In the September 2018 issue of Jewish Times Asia we reported on his appeal to allow him to travel to Israel in time for the Pesach festival in April.

Khalid, who also goes by the name Fishel Benkald, tweeted his request to senior government officials, along with images of his Pakistani passport showing his religion listed as Judaism, and specifying that the passport was valid “for all countries of the world except Israel”.

As reported in the May 2017 issue of Jewish Times Asia, Pakistan, for the first time since the 1980s, allowed one of its 180 million citizens to publicly register as a Jew. He was notified in March 2017 that his religious status in his NADRA profile could be changed from Muslim to Jew.

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