Persecution in Pakistan
Civil rights activist Mushtag Gill reports on current situations including religious oppression, injustice and deadly attacks on minority groups.
Sardar Mushtag Gill
[Ed note: the report is printed verbatim. See also 'response' section following this article for a separate report from Pakistan which came in the next day. ]
LAHORE: Today, George Masih met Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill Chief of LEAD, a Human Rights Defender and told that his father, 58-year-old Boota Masih, worked as Niyaria (Gold scrap collector from drain) at Liaquatabad, Karachi in Lalu Khait Jeweller's Market from last 40 years was brutally murdered by cutting his throat by some Muslim in broad daylight on September 14, 2013.
He further added that after slicing throat of his father in front of shopkeepers and traders the killer Muhammad Asif waved his knife in air standing on dead body shouted slogans "Allah O Akber, Allah O Akber" "I have killed an infidel blasphemer" and walked away and no one tried to stop him and asked why had he done heinous crime.
He told that NCJP gave them legal assistance for lodging FIR No. 226/2013 under sections 302/34 PPC against the killer at Police Station Liaqatabad but the killer was deliberately not arrested by Police and now he was fugitive of Police. George told that he was threatened by the killer on phone and also by some of his relatives to withdraw the case and these threats are still continue. We had made registered FIR No. 307/2013 under section 506/B PPC and 25 Telegraph Act. "We are now not dead and not alive",said George."We lost work and now no one willing to give us work among Muslims after this incident",added George.
On Friday, 16 May, Teenager kills man accused of blasphemy in Pakistan police station. The man namely Khalil Ahmad belonging to a minority community was accused of blasphemy in a Punjab village Sharkarpur and was in police custody when the incident occurred.
Ahmad was a member of the minority Ahmadi community, whose members profess to be Muslim. But Pakistan's penal code explicitly discriminates against them.
Ahmadis are prevented by law from "posing as Muslims", declaring their faith publicly, calling their places of worship mosques or performing the Muslim call to prayer. They were declared non-Muslim in 1974 for their belief in a prophet after Mohammed.
Mr. Sayhoon Eric, media Director of VOP told that on May 17, 2014 a blasphemy case has been registered in Mirpur Khas (Sindh) at Railway police station under section
295-A/298, 506/34 of Pakistan Penal Code against four Christians Javed Masih, his wife Nazia , Rose Marry and Cavell David. Hafiz Shah Fahad is the complainant of the FIR. The complainant alleged that the Christians were preaching at Mirpur railway station and this act of the Christians severely injured the feelings of the Muslims. On the same day the police arrested all the Christians and sent them to jail. So far the situation is very tense in the area.
Last week a prominent human rights lawyer Rashid Rehman defending a Pakistani university professor accused of blasphemy was shot and killed after being threatened in court.
In January 2011, Salman Taseer was assassinated by his bodyguard for voicing his opinion on blasphemy law and supporting Asia Bibi. In March, Shahbaz Bhatti, federal minister for minority affairs was assassinated.
According to official figures, Pakistan is home to over 96 percent Muslim population with 3.54 percent religious minorities, including Christians, Hindu, Ahmadiya, Parsi, Buddhist, Sikh and others. As Christianity is the second biggest religion in the country, with 1.59 percent followers, therefore, Christians have been highly exposed to the injustices, under blasphemy laws, in comparison to other minority groups.
Religious minorities in Pakistan are not safe under these blasphemy law, they feel insecure themselves. Our advocacy for victims at LEAD, our voice for rule of law, religious liberty and freedom and our campaign to repeal blasphemy law and all other discriminatory law in Pakistan be continued.
LEAD (Legal Evangelical Association Development) is a registered relief, development , advocacy and free legal aid organization dedicated to working with children, families , communities , churches and different denominations to overcome poverty and injustice.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are motivated by God's love to serve all people regardless of race, religion, denomination, gender or ethnicity; and to promote the Gospel and Christian faith and values in Pakistan
Sardar Mushtag Gill, 19/05/2014