Pakistan’s tallest woman seeks asylum in Britain

January 6th, 2009 - 2:30 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 6 (IANS) One of the world’s tallest women, who hails from Pakistan, is seeking asylum in Britain on grounds that she is a target in her home country because of her height.Zainab Bibi is 7 feet 2 inches (2 metres 18 cm) tall and hails from Mandi Rajana village of Punjab in Pakistan. She came to Britain in 2006 on a promotion trip.

She stayed on as she had a two year visa.

Zainab Bibi recently lodged a claim for asylum on the ground that she was afraid to return to Pakistan as youth had thrown stones at her and pulled at her clothing. She once broke her wrist when attacked.

She was given a council flat in Britain, together with 40 pounds a week in benefits. The decision on her claim is expected any time now.

The Daily Mail has reported that people in her native village were surprised that she had sought asylum in Britain “because in recent years she had used her height to earn money, making dozens of public appearances in her own country and abroad”.

The newspaper quoted her family friend, Ghulam Mustafa, as saying: “She was teased when she was younger but it has been no problem for at least eight years. She is safe if she returns but life is very hard here. It is nothing like England, which is more comfortable.”

Zainab’s mother, too, agreed that her daughter had always been safe in the village. The local police chief went on record saying: “She is a big shot now in Pakistan and I would offer her the protection her position merits.”

She now lives in Manchester and speaks little English, but managed to convey that she believed that her asylum application would be successful.

Zainab has repeatedly claimed that she is the world’s tallest woman in her age group. According to Dawn, the Pakistani newspaper, she lodged a protest against Guinness Book of World Records in 2003 for the publication of her photograph without identifying her.

According to Guinness, the tallest woman is American Sandra Allen at 7 ft 7 in. She died in 2008. The latest claimant to the title is Yao Defen, from China, who claims to be 7 ft 7 in. But Guinness in its latest edition says it is yet to determine the results of its investigations.

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