Visit our new British Pakistani Christians website

Visit our new British Pakistani Christians website
This site will no longer publish new material. Please join our new website www.britishpakistanichristians.org

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Foreign and Commonwealth Office response to our recent Joint delegation with the British Sikh Council





Below I have copied word for word the response received today from Ben Stride of the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The letter received was in response to our Petition delegation on the 25th February 2010 (sic):

Thank you for letter to the Prime Minister of 25 February 2010 regarding human rights concerns in Pakistan. I am replying as a member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Pakistan Team.

The UK condemns all instances of violence and discrimination against individuals and groups because of their faith or belief, wherever they happen or whatever the religion of the individual or group concerned. The incidents that you highlight in your letter are tragic examples of the struggles that are often faced by members of minority communities in Pakistan.

We regard the treatment of minorities in Pakistan as a very serious issue. Along with our EU and international partners we regularly raise the issue of the treatment of the minorities with the Government of Pakistan. The most recent EU demarche in December 2009 called upon the Government of Pakistan to promote tolerance and take measures to protect freedom of religion or belief. Human Rights will figure as a core part of the forthcoming EU-Pakistan Summit on 21 April in Brussels. We are keen for Pakistan to have greater access to EU markets. However, in order for this to happen Pakistan will need to meet the eligibility criteria for such access, which includes ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention Against Torture (CAT). We are encouraging them to take these steps.

The misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan is a particular concern. Incidents such as the attacks in Gojra, Korian and Sumbrial highlight the importance of ensuring that such legislation is correctly used. Following the attacks on Gojra and Korian our High Commissioner in Pakistan raised the need to ensure the protection of human rights for all of Pakistan’s minorities raised with the of the Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif. Both the Federal and Provincial Governments launched investigations into the attacks, and this resulted in a series of recommendations to local police forces and the Pakistani Government designed to prevent such attacks happening in the future. To support the Federal and Provincial Government designed in addressing the misuse of the blasphemy laws, we are funding a project analysing their socio-political impact. This will increase the capacity of law enforcement officials, government representatives and civil society to implement and monitor proper procedures in blasphemy cases.

The death of any child is tragedy, and the allegations that surround the case that you highlight make it even more disturbing. The UK is very clear that child labour should be banned, and our work is focused to achieve this end.

The UK has signed an agreement called the International Labour Organisation Convention Number 182. This is designed to protect children from the type of harm that you have highlighted. We have also signed a second agreement which is called Convention Number 138. This Convention means that children must have finished all compulsory education before they can start work, and that they should not start work if under the age of 15.

The case that you highlight is currently active in the courts of Pakistan. Since the case is sub judice, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is unable to intervene directly with the authorities in Pakistan. However, we recognise the importance of making robust and regular representations to the Government of Pakistan on the issue of child labour. Together with our EU partners we have consistently raised the subject, most recently in the EU demarche of December 2009. Furthermore, child labour will be raise by European Union as part of the forthcoming dialogue on Human Rights. A Child Protection Bill is currently under discussion in the National Assembly in Pakistan. This Bill aims to prevent the abuse and mistreatment that you have highlighted. It is hoped that this Bill will be passed during 2010.

The issue of child labour in Pakistan is tied directly to the access to education. Progress on access to education for the poorest remains a significant challenge. The UK is providing £250 million for education and skills training Pakistan over the next five years. In late 2009, an Education Task force was set to work with the Government of Pakistan and federal and provincial ministries to support delivery of educational reforms and the National Education Policy.

The information alleged Sikhs in Pakistan is shocking, and the United Kingdom unreservedly condemns on such acts. The Government of Pakistan has been taking robust action against the Taliban in a sustained military campaign in Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) and in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) that has driven Taliban out of areas they used to control. It is important that such gains are followed up with reconstruction, development and improved governance. Through our 5-year £655 million development programme, the UK is supporting the Government of Pakistan to address the challenged that are faced, and assisting in the development of a strong, stable and democratic Pakistan that reinforces regional stability and upholds the rights of all minorities.


We must ensure the British Government continues to monitor the situation in Pakistan. It is only Through international pressure that we will see a change in fortune for minority groups in Pakistan. Moreover our petition for a fairer education for all in Pakistan will be submitted to 10 Downing Street when we have reached 200 signatures. So if you have not signed them yet ,we are urging British people to sign the petition directly to 10 Downing Street and all others to sign the i-petitions version. Thank you for your continued support

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Education for all in Pakistan!




Our petition for parity of education for all in Pakistan, has been approved by the number 10 Downing street assessment team. This is now available on the Number 10 website at the following address:


Our petition reads:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to increase scrutiny of International development funds to Pakistan

On the Pakistan High Commission website it has been highlighted that Britian is to increase its International Development fund for Pakistan to £665m. The Briitish Pakistani Christian Association petitions the uk Government to ensure that effective accountability and traceability of the usage of these funds is guaranteed.

We commend the Government's fund towards overall holistic improvements to the Pakistani Education system . However, we Petition the Government of the UK to ensure that a portion of these funds from the educational reform segmant of the grant ,are utilised towards eradicating the disparity of educational and employment oppurtunity for minority faith groups in Pakistan. Only 7% of minority faith groups in Pakistan are literate,compared with 50%of the Muslim community.

Minority faith groups in the main live in impoverished communities and over 85% of them work as domestic labour.

Please sign our petition calling for as share of the £665m in British taxes earmarked for Pakistan to be directed towards minority faith community development.

Murdered by Axe blows for failing to convert to Islam! Rashid Masih (RIP)



I was sent this link to a story on the Persecution Times:

Muslims Murder Pakistani Christian with Axe Blows For Refusing to Convert to Islam

March 22nd, 2010 By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries


MIAN CHANNU, PAKISTAN (ANS) – Compass Direct News (CDN) is reporting that six Muslims in Khanewal district in the southern Punjab Province of Pakistan, killed a Christian with multiple axe blows for refusing to convert to Islam this month, according to family and police sources.

The CDN story says, “The six men had threatened to kill 36-year-old Rasheed Masih unless he converted to Islam when they grew resentful of his potato business succeeding beyond their own, according to Masih’s younger brother Munir Asi and a local clergyman.
“The rival merchants allegedly killed him after luring him to their farmhouse on March 9, leaving him on a roadside near Kothi Nand Singh village in the wee hours of the next day.”

The Rev. Iqbal Masih of the Mian Channu Parish of the Church of Pakistan told Compass Direct that Rasheed Masih was a “devoted Christian,” and that both he and his brother Asi had “refused the Muslims’ pressure to convert to Islam.”

Mian Channu police have registered a case against the six men and an investigation is underway, but the suspects are still at large, police officers told Compass.

Police said the suspects were Ghulam Rasool, Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Amjad, one identified only as Kashif and two other unidentified Muslims; they were charged with torture and murder. Masih’s family lives in Babo John Colony, Mian Channu of Khanewal district.

“Our continuous denial to recant our faith and convert gradually turned into enmity,” Asi told Compass. The FIR [First Information Report] states, “Both the Muslim men [Rasool and Asif] were not only inviting them to Islam but hurling threats of dire consequences and death on them for the last six months in case they refused to convert.”

Note: The name “Masih,” which is Arabic for “Messiah,” is a common surname in Pakistan among Christians.)
Tags: Khanewal, MIAN CHANNU, Pakistani Christian Killed, Rasheed Masih
Read more on this story by clicking (here)

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Arshad Masih (RIP)

Arshad Masih (RIP) - the perpetrators of the violence to his family must be brought to justice!

Arshed Masih died last night in hospital from serious trauma a result of the burns covering 80% of his body. The 38 year old Pakistani Christian wenet through extreme pain when he was set on fire after refusing to convert to Islam.

The funeral Arshad who died after a prolonged three days of agony, should take place sometime this afternoon. The family have asked that an autopsy is performed on the body of Arshad befire burial. The Christian Community of Pakistan in the voices of its largest institutions has condemned the latest episode of violence. Plans are afoot to organise a protest and it is reported than many lead voices have denounced the "lethargy" of the federal and provincial government to punish those responsible.

It has been reported that On March 19 a group of Islamic extremists burned alive Arshed Masih, a driver employed by a wealthy Muslim businessman in Rawalpindi. His wife worked as a maid in the same estate, situated in front of a police station. Recently disagreements had arisen between the employer, Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, and the couple because of their Christian faith. Reports from the ground state the couple had suffered threats and intimidation to force them to convert to Islam.

Arshed Masih (pictured) died last night at 07.45 local time. Somehow through the pain an trauma Arshad survived three days of agony. Arshad was being cared for at the Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi, Punjab province. It is alleged that his wife Martha Arshed was raped by police after she sought to denounce the violence inflicted on her husband. It has also been reported that the couple's three children - ages 7 to 12 years - were forced to witness the torture inflicted on their parents.

Since 2005 Arshed Masih and his wife had worked and lived on the estate of the late Sheikh Mohammad Sultan. The pressure on them to renounce Christianity had purtotedly become incessant. some reports state that the owner had come so far as to threaten "dire consequences", to persuade them to embrace Islam. It has also been noted that the couple were accused of a recent theft by the owner - who promised to drop the complaint if they would convert to Islam.

The site BosNewsLife.com adds that yesterday the provincial government of Punjab blocked a protest march of Christians, under the pretext of "terrorist threat". The local community wanted to demonstrate against the "refusal" of the police to arrest the perpetrators of the crime.

Pakistan Christian Post said:

(Click here)

Monday, 22 March 2010

Asian Christian Gospel Singing Contest

Asian Christian Gospel Singing Contest

ALSO

Celebrating 13 years of Masihi Sansar Newspaper

In Punjab India

Date: Saturday 10th April 2010

Programme starts @ 10am (Prompt)

At: Holy Trinity Church (off High Street)

West Bromwich

B70 6LF

*Important Notice*

*Important Notice*

27th February 2010

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please make a note in your diaries, the Asian Calvary Church of Wolverhampton are holding their Annual Convention on Saturday 17th July 2010

At: Darlington Street, Methodist Church (off School Street)

Wolverhampton WV1 4LF.

You will receive further information regarding this event in the near future.

In the mean time, we would be most grateful if you and your church would keep this important day in your daily prayers.

God Bless You.

Yours in His Service

Ashok Masih Mattu

For further information contact:

Ashok Masih Mattu “The Bungalow” 4 Lea Gardens, Pennfields

Wolverhampton WV3 OLX

Tel: 01902773889 Mobile 07958604487

E-mail: ashokmattu@hotmail.co.uk

Invitation

“INVITATION”

Let us come before the Lord with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. Psalm 95:2

National Asian Christian Gospel Singing Contest

In aid of a Christian printing printing press in Punjab

On: Saturday 10th April 2010

At: Holy Trinity Church

Trinity Street (off High Street)

West Bromwich B70 6LF

*TV Coverage* Launch of a new Album “ROOH KI AAGAA”

Consul General of India, MPs Councillors and Community Leaders will also be present at this event.

Please come and bring others, “This is not to be missed”

Refreshments will be served

For further information please contact

Ashok Masih Mattu

“The Bungalow” 4 Lea Gardens, Pennfields

Wolverhampton WV3 OLX

Tel: 01902 773889 Mobile 07958 604487

E-mail ashokmattu@hotmail.co.uk

Man burned alive while Police raped his wife!




I received this FB Report this morning it was posted by a Robert Spencer - I cannot confirm the authenticity, accurracy or veracity of the story yet, but I add this for your perusal (Sic):

The Qur'an says there is "no compulsion in religion " (2:256) but Islamic law and the Qur'an itself are actually full of subtle and not-at-all-subtle means of coercion of non-believers (e.g., dhimmi status, the jizya tax, and of course, warfare). Add to that a situation where authorities, steeped in hatred of unbelievers (cf. Qur'an 98:6) are not accountable, and this is what happens.

"News Alert: Pakistan Christian "Burned", Wife "Raped", For Refusing Islam," from BosNewsLife, March 20 (thanks to DJM):

RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)-- A Christian man was fighting for his life in Pakistan's Punjab province Saturday, March 20, after Muslim leaders backed by police burned him alive for refusing to convert to Islam, while his wife was raped by police officers, Christian and hospital sources familiar with the case told BosNewsLife.


Arshed Masih was burned Friday, March 19, in front of a police station in the city of Rawalpindi near Pakistan's capital Islamabad, following apparent death threats from his Muslim employer Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, an influential businessman, and religious leaders, said the Rawalpindi Holy Family Hospital.

His wife, Martha Arshed, was allegedly raped by police officers. Their three children -- ranging in age from 7 to 12-- were reportedly forced to witness the attacks against their parents.
"Both [Masih] and wife were rushed to the Holy Family Hospital and are under treatment," the hospital said.


He was listed in serious condition with about 80 percent of his body burned.
Local police officials said they were "aware" of the attacks carried out by Muslim leaders and apparently at least some officers and added that an investigation was underway. No arrests were reported yet late Saturday, March 19.


Sheikh Mohammad Sultan could not immediately be reached for comment and it was not clear whether he had been in contact with police Saturday, March 20.

Before tensions emerged about their Christian faith, Masih worked as a driver and his wife as a maid for the Muslim businessman since 2005, Christians said.

The couple apparently lived with their children in the servant quarters of Sultan's estate in Rawalpindi, a key trade and tourist destination. In January, religious leaders and Sultan allegedly asked Arshed to convert to Islam with his whole family. After he refused, the group reportedly threatened him with "dire consequences"

Arshed offered to quit his job, but the businessman allegedly said he would "kill" him if he were to leave.

He apparently also told Christian mediators that he would never allow the Christian family to live somewhere else.

This week tensions raised after Sultan reported a theft of 500,000 Pakistani Rupees (5,952$), according to a document seen by BosNewsLife.

The Christian family members were not named as suspects in the so-called 'First Information Report' from police.

Sources familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, told BosNewsLife that the businessman had offered the couple to drop the case if they convert to Islam or "else that both would not see their children again."

However, "Arshed refused to convert and stood firm in his faith. Arshed`s wife was raped by the police and he was burned alive," Friday, March 19, local Christians said, speaking on condition of anonimity.


The case comes at a time when church groups have complained about growing attacks against minority Christians by Muslim militants, often with the alleged support by local law enforcement officials and other authorities.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Julius Salik

Wilson meets with Pakistan's Christian MP Julius Salik

men of faith and politics.

Julius Salik a Christian MP from Pakistan, a former Federal Minister for Community Development and once a nominee for a Nobel Peace prize, is in the UK. He is attempting to establish a World Minorities Alliance (a group that when established will provide a voice the safeguards the rights of global minorities). Read more (here).
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Julius Salik is well known for his creative protests that have enlightened people on a number of major political issues. Julius Salik is a well known protaganist for change and in particular religious harmony and equality.
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He co-ordinated the Hoisting of black flags on Christian Households when Muslims were attacked in Burma and once wore black robes for 40 days in protest, when Mulsims where attacked in the Phillipines.
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He also organises a joint Christian and Muslim Ulema Conference meeting when 72 Americans were held hostage in Iran. This subsequently led to the release of the Hostages on Christmas Day. Read more (here)
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An invitation has been provided to Alex, Atiq and Wilson Chowdhry to attend his Public Meeting on the 11th of April. At this meeting Julius will be detailing his aspirations for the World Minorities Alliance. We will keep you informed of progress.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Sahil saeed found!

A BBC report on Tuesday 16th March at 08:16 reported on the safe return of Sahil Saaed. The boy who was kidnapped in a horrid act of avarice, that led to a ransom being requested for his release. Sahil is now safe with his parents in Oldham after the ordeal.

More can be learnt by clicking (here) or tuning into Pukaar News.

.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Petition For Equitable Learning for "All" In Pakistan

On the Pakistan High Commission website it has been highlighted that Britian is to increase it's International Development Fund for Pakistan to £665m.The British Pakistani Christian Association, petitions the Uk Government, to ensure that effective accountability and traceability of the usage of these funds in guaranteed.

We commend the Government's fund towards overall holistic improvement to the Pakistani Education Ssystem. However,we petition the Government of the UK to ensure that a portion of these funds from the educational reform segment of the grant are utilised towards eradicating the disparity of educational and employment oppurtunity for minority faith groups in Pakistan.

Only 7% of Minority faith groups in Pakistan are literate,compared with 50% of the majority Muslim community.Minority faith groups in the main live in improvished communities and over 85% of them work as domestic labour.

Ways to improve learning and encourage more learners form minority communities could include:

1. Removing Islamic studies and creating a fairer religious studies course uniformly throughout all schools. This would eradicate the fear of prosletysing of young people.

2. Providing options for Undergraduate course in mixed religious studies and particular specialisation other than,and including Islamic studies.

3. Making it mandatory that Children should remain in School till atleast 16 years of age.

4.Providing free education to very deprived families and subsidies for uniforms and school dinners.

5. Teaching the input of other faiths in the establishment of Pakistan and not just Muslim figures - much like in Britian we now have "Black History"

Please sign our petition below:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/educational-parity-in-pakistan/
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Shazia Bashir - Disturbing news about her Court case!

With so many tears shed - I belived the family of Shazia would fight this court case till the last...? I hope this news is wrong...?

I have received very perturbing news from Pakistan. It would seem that an out of court settlement has been reached and that a Lawyer that was representing the family - refused to challenge Mohammed Naeem. The information source has provided a name but has asked to be kept annoymous. Please read ahead (sic):

Dear Friends,

UPDATE NEWS ABOUT SHAZIA

It has been heard that her parents has negotiate with Mr. Naeem the lawyer (suspected killer). He has paid some good amount to them to settle the case.

CLASS office has preceded the case and went to the court where the group of Lawyer has beaten them and many Christian Lawyers has refused for taking this case. They are not willing to go against Lawyer association. This is also heard that Class office has fired one of its Lawyers in this matter.

Government and Lawyers association is fully support the accused person Mr. Naeem (Lawyer). Our Poor Christian family of Shazia has compromised with them and taken a handsome amount

We Christians in Pakistan are not so strong to stand on our rights.We need power and this power is only comes from our Lord Jesus ChristKEEP YOUR FAITH ALIVE ON HIMDont fear HE will be with youJust put your burden on HIM and you will see the results.

Fight against Child Labour educate your community.

I cannot confirm the veracity of the details at this stage and report this as a comment. Once I have corroberating evidence I will inform readers of this blog.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Another tragic loss - Kiran George (RIP)


I have received this email from a lead officer from Release International a group that is providing very effective support to persecuted Christians in Pakistan. If you would like to more about what their group is doing in Pakistan, please email their lead Pakistan correspondent using the following email ajtrask@hotmail.co.uk.
The article was written by Haroon Michael of Sharing Life Ministry - Pakistan:
Report of Christian Girl Kiran George d/o George Masih burnt alive by a cruel wealthy family

Name: Kiran George d/o George Masih

Occupation: House Maid

Status: Unmarried

Age: 20 Years

Residential Address: Francis Colony Girja Town, Near Ayesha Mills, Sheikhupura



SLMP’s Comment:

This is not the very first time that a Christian girl has been burnt by wealthy family, many incidences have taken place in the past. One reason is that these kinds of incidents take place is that many Christian families don’t have good or sound revenue sources. Few operate businesses and the majority in Christians are illiterate. In this particular case, the family placed their daughter to work at a wealthy Muslim family's house. Whilst working it is a common practice for the boys or men of the household to lure these girls into sexual immorality talking of fake love.
When a girl becomes pregnant and she asks the household man or boy for marriage then situation, totally changes. Quite often the girls are then murdered, as there is little fear for a legal system, in which impunity can be bought with a few rupees.
We have to take steps to stop these kind of crimes, the majority of case which involve Christian girls, being killed by Muslims.
Our Sewing School project is for these Christian girls and women who are illiterate and they can learn how to sew. After training they can earn good money by stitching ladies clothes.

Occurrence:

SLMP’s team comes to know about this incident via the Jaang newspaper, then SLMP’s Chief Coordinator Sohail Johnson sent his team members Zeeshan Yousaf and Chaudhary Kashif to Mayo Hospital, Lahore to collect facts about the incident

Kiran‘s father George Masih is a laborer by profession and her mother Haleema Bibi is a house wife. Kiran belonged to a very poor family - that’s why she was working as maid in the Shah House. It was while working here that she fall in love with a landlord Zahida Bibi’s son, Ahmad Raza Shah.

Ahmad Raza had sexual intercourse with Kiran many times. He made frequent promises with Kiran that he would marry her. However, when she become pregnant, she expressed her desire to marry Raza, to save her future and respect in the strict society she lived in. Raza refused her and burnt her alive by petrol. According to the doctors she is 100% burnt and there is no chance that her life will be saved.
She is under special care in Mayo Hospital Lahore; she had recorded her statement in a very painful condition to SLMP’s team member Zeeshan Joseph.



Statement by Kiran George:

(This statement was recorded by SLMP’s team member in his mobile phone in Punjabi, an then translated into English )

‘On Saturday 6 March at 5 pm, I was busy in my routine work at Raza’s house he came and requested that I want to say something personally, after some time he called me on roof top. During that time I was thinking that might be Raza will propose me that he is ready to marry with me. But the reality was different. When I reached on roof Raza and her mother Zahida was already there holds petrol’s gallon, they both were very aggressive. Raza start threw patrol and set fire on me. In few seconds my whole body was covered by flame. I was shouting help me but nobody come to save me, then I run towards downstairs for poured water on my body, I fell down on the roof and I said this sentence’, “Please for God sake save my life”

“Ahmad Raza’s brother named Ajmal came and brought me to the civil Hospital"

"Raza belongs to a rich Muslim family. He bribed to the police do not registered FIR against him. Inspector Ahmad Bashir is not taking any attention on this case they are just waiting for my death”.

Statement of Kiran’s Mother:

Haleema Bibi told SLMP team members, that Raza Shah is a man of bad character. The mother believes that Raza had emotionally trapped her daughter and had used her to fulfill his sexual desire.
"He frequently promised Kiran that he would marry her. However when she become pregnant he tried to kill my daughter. God saved her but her body is completely burnt. We are helpless. This city is unknown to us, no-one came here to provide us legal help. My husband is working as laborer we have no money or financial sources to fight for justice."

Current Situation:

Kiran is still suffering and in immense pains - her body has entire body has 100% burns. She is being fed by intravenous drip. Police have now registered an FIR against the real culprits, after initial reticence, however they have not yet attempted to arrest him. Kiran's family are facing threats by Raza’s family.

Dear friends and prayer partners please keep Kiran and her greiving family in your prayers.

Updates:

Today we come to know that Kiran's life expired on 11th, March, 2010. She died as a consequence of the 100% burns. In response to the tragic loss of this young woman Christian people joined the relatives of Kiran George and blocked the road in Sheikhupura, with the dead body of victim. They shouted out demand to the Police ofr justice and the arrest of the culprits and declared that the body would not be removed or buried until and arrest took place.
Then police talked with the amassed protesters and assured them that the culprits would be arrested and that a full investigation would take place.


Reported By

Haroon Michael
Field Officer -Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan

This is another tragedy that has hit our community so soon after the case of Shazia Bashir. We need to remember that both issues involve wealthy individuals and we must be careful to not to point at any particular faith. The fact that the family were Muslim and the victim was Christian is much due to the poverty that Minority faith groups find themselves in that forces our communities to work as domestic labour. Pakistan has secured £665,000 of International Development aid from the UK - part fo which will go towards educational reform in Pakistan. I will be challenging our British Government to ensure that not only does this money go towards improving the educational system in Pakistan, but for the funds to be used to reduce the disparity of educational and employment opportunity in Pakistan. By this I would like to see not only wholesale improvements to the range, complexity and achievement rates in Pakistan. Moreover, I would like to see a change in the 7% literacy rate for minority faith groups in Pakistan in comparison to 50% within the majority Muslim population.

I will keep the family of Shazia Bashir and Kiran George in my prayers. The loss of a child is the hardest thing for a mother and father to bear. I pray that aid agencies help and support these families so that they might see justice prevail and receive some succour. I also pray that people of all faiths, abhor this terrible event and challenge our Pakistani Government and authorities to make institutional and constitutional changes to prevent such occurences happening again and to create a more equitable life for all.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Update on 8 Bomb Attacks provided by Sadia Riaz.

I have received this news from Sadia Riaz in Pakistan:

Today in Lahore two suicide attacks resulted in explosions in the famous RA bazaar, Lahore. It is purported that 45 people died and more than 100 people are injured. 25 People died at the spot, instantly. The blasts were very powerful and surrounding buildings were shaken terribly.

Security forces have found the heads of the two suicide attackers other evidence.

Later in the day in Iqbal town 6 continuous blasts occurred. The blasts occur ed in Kashmir Block, Chanab Block, Moon Market and Kareem Block. These six blasts brought the total up to eight bomb blasts in one day!

It is purported that, in one of the attacks a bomb was placed under the car of a group Captain Pakistan Air Force. Reports state that these six blasts are part of planned activity, aimed at destroying peace to cultivate fear and terror.

It is thought that some terrorists are still inside Iqbal Town. People have been asked to stay at home and a bomb disposal squad and security forces are still investigating and cordoning the area.

After every blast gunfire was heard and the people of Lahore and Pakistan will be very restless tonight

A nation living with fears!

I promised you a follow up story to the recent bomb in Lahore and apologise for the delay. Anyway for your attention and perusal I am pleased to include a first hand report on the impact of the recent bombing. This rather revealing and disturbing, if not heart wrenching report of the recent bomb in Lahore, was received toady via Sumbel Daniel, a local resident:

"On the Morning of 8th March 2010 I was rushing towards my workplace, a renowned and large school in Model Town Lahore.

Students were scheduled to complete their final exams, so I went straight to my classroom eager to prepare the session. As I completed distributing examination papers, a loud terrifying sound reverberated around the whole school. Windows shattered and the walls of the room shook some even cracked. A panic ensued as many of the students and teachers in the school recognised the sound, having been involved in a bomb blast before on the 11th of February 2008.

At this stage it was not apparent whether the blast had occurred on the school premises or in the nearby vicinity.

My students were terrified and I myself was still rather shaken. However, I put my wits together and led the children out, following or preset evacuation procedures. I noticed whilst doing this, that other teachers also, uniformly applied our correct procedures.

Students were crying, some of them believed that blast occurred in the primary school wing, where their younger sibling were studying.

As we settled ourselves in the evacuation zone a frenzied panic ensued. Students and teachers were calling friends and family to check on their status. My situation was no different, I was trying to contact my younger sister, praying that the blast did not occur at her workplace, just a road away from mine. I also called my youngest sister, who had just dropped me to school 10 minutes earlier and had to pass through the local "K-block" to reach her university. The fact that my brother work’s in an office near to K block compounded my concern.

After they all responded to my calls, I felt the panic leave me. I started to concentrate on the students, trying to stop their panic and high emotions.

Eventually we got to know that the blast occurred in K-block. It transpires that a secret agency office was targeted at 08:15 near a local theological seminary headed by Dr Israr Ahmed in Model town.

Since then I have surveyed the damage to the local community. Hundreds of houses have had there window's shattered, walls were cracked and for many their houses were completely demolished.

People died after the collapse of their houses and even those passing by fared no better with many dying. An even larger number of people have sustained major and minor injuries, caused by shattered glass and debris that fell upon them.

The incident brought back tragic memories of the blast of 2008 that occurred in F-block of Model Town. Schools are always threatened with terrorists attacks and this has made our staff and pupils constantly on edge. On both occasions those at the school believed that the blast occurred at our school. I will never forget the faces of frightened students - or parents arriving at our school, screaming and crying. Each time the ensuing panic leads to threats from parents that they will break down the security gates. In the emotional fervour that such event induce, parents just want to clasp their children tight in their arms to protect them.

Since the last 2 years, the threats of explosions in academic institutions have created a sense of insecurity and trepidation amongst students, parents and teachers.

Only Today there were 2 blasts at a bus stop at RA bazaar Lahore. While I am writing this, there is a news of 5 blasts within the last hour at Allama Iqbal town. There were 6 blasts in the last 12 hours in Lahore City. Who could think 5 years back that even educational institutes, shopping parades/markets and residential areas, would no longer be safe.

Instead of talking about fairy tales, the kindergarten students are found talking about blasts. Terrorist attacks and games about blasts are now an unsavoury but popular past time .

The people of Pakistan are afraid to go to shopping malls, recreational places, homes and in fact anywhere - especially during the few days after a blast.

There are so many unexplainable things which seem small but matter a lot. People are afraid to sit in rickshaws driven by Pathans (suspected to be Taliban). Educational and recreational trips are strongly discouraged. People do not roam about their community as freely as they used to and only leave their houses if thy have a strong purpose. Such factors have demoralised our communities, and removed the strong ties and links that local people used to have with one another.

An unconscious fear has become a part of everyone’s life, an uncertainty, and a sense of insecurity. We have no choice other than this -to carry on regardless with all these fears burdening our very souls!

Sumbel Daniel
Educationalist.

This touching piece brings to light the major consequences of a large scale terrorist attack. Quite clearly people in Pakistan, are reeling from wave after wave of tragedies and atrocities. Although without a doubt, the upsurge of extremism in Pakistan is affecting minority faiths groups. It cannot be denied that all Pakistanis are severely disorientated by recent events. I hope and pray that the Pakistani Government ,will either allow more western intervention in resolving the ongoing problems in Pakistan, or alternatively that they, will pool more resources, into making Pakistan a safe place to live.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Sheikhupura protest against executed domestic servant

In Shaikhupura a Christian domestic servant was burned and was in critical condition for two days in Meva hospital Lahore where she passed away.
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In Shaikhupura, in specific a place called Jahangirbad a domestic servant called Kiran George was brought to Meva Hospital in a very serious condition. The incident happened on Tuesday 9th March. Before dying it is reported that she confessed that the son of her employer Ahmad Raza was torturing her. She told her employers that she was to be married soon and this sparked an incident in which her employer Ahmad Raza and his sister sprinkled petrol on her and ignited it.
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After struggling for her life for two days Kiran George passed away. In response to Kiran George’s murder her relatives have arranged a protest and blocked the Lahore road into Shaikhupura, burning tyres to prevent access.
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Police has used minimum force to calm this protest but protesters threw stones in response. the Protest continued until the Police spoke with them . The Protestors demanded the arrest and punishment of the two accused violators of justice.

Petition Submission video by BPCA and British Sikh Council

video

Kiran George - Young Christian Girl raped and killed in Sheikhupura

This is the symbol of anarchy being used by many disenfranchised groups - should we make it the flag of Pakistan...?
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I have only just received this disturbing message from Watson Gill a Pastor in Holland(sic):

"Pakistani Dutch Christian Community and Urdu Church in Holland condemn this barbaric act by Ahmad Raza with innocent Christian girl Kiran George. Pakistani Christian Girl Kiran George burn alive in shekhopura Punjab. According to the Pakistani media Christian girl Kiran George raped every day by her employer Ahmad Raza and then burnt alive by his sister and employer Ahmad Raza."

Watson Gill

If there is any one who can provide an update or more info- please do so.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Militant attack on World Vision Charity in Manserah

This morning at 06:00 a report was featured on the BBC News network (TV) of a militant attack on the World Vision Offices in Manserah. A district just north of Islamabad. To date the most comprehensive report is still that of the BBC. Despite what you here about groundbreaking news - the report was rapidly filmed and presented on the BBC International News Network.

(Click Here)

Please pray for the situation in Pakistan.

An article taken from Catholic Culture - Pakistani Christians apprehended for attack on the their own Community??!!


Christians, not Muslims, arrested following attack on Christians

March 09, 2010

In the weeks following a February attack on Christian churches and homes in Pakistan’s largest city, police have questioned 40 Christians and arrested five, according to a report published by the Fides news agency. “It is an ironic accusation,” a source said, since “on that occasion, it was the Christian quarter of Pahar Ganj in Karachi that was attacked by a mob of Muslims who wrought havoc in the streets and burned shops.”

Elsewhere in the Islamic republic, the Punjab regional government has ordered further investigations into summer attacks on Christians in which churches were desecrated, 57 homes were burned down, and nine women and children were burned alive. “It is a good sign for bringing the truth into the light and fighting impunity,” said Francis Mehboob Sada, head of the Christian Study Center in Rawalpindi. “The culprits remain unpunished. The government had remained silent until now, and again we expressed our disappointment at this.

We hope that the new investigations can shed light on serious incidents and bring justice.”
Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

Monday, 8 March 2010

New Bombing in Lahore

There have been reports of a bomb in Lahore this morning. Please view the link below:

http://www.geo.tv/3-8-2010/60629.htm


We will update you on this issue later in the afternoon.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Is Islam misrepresented?

An interesting debate took place on the BBC Today when a question was posed about whether Islam is misrepresented. Cllr Alan Craig who joined us in our delegation to the Pakistan High Commission featured on this programme. There is definately a case for this, as we only hear of the bad elements in this community especially the terrorist, whereas the majority of Muslims in Pakistan and the UK live in peace and harmony.

However, ther is a strong argument that hostile theocratic societies breed a religious contempt that only really manifests itself, during a time of opportunistic gain or increased religious fervour spurred by rogue religious organisations.

Why not view this for yourselves...?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rfqw7

Alan Craig and the Christian Party have been very supportive towards persecuted minorities in Pakistan.

Please share your comments...?

The blind leading the blind!


Today on the BBC News programme we discovered that 4 police officers involved in the case of missing 5yr old Sahil Saeed (kidnapped last Thursday), have been dismissed for being too lax during the early stages of the crime report. It would seem that little or no action was taken after the boys father reported the accident. Such diabolical policing, is something those who have an association with Pakistan are very aware of.

In a daily telegraph report published by Dean Nelson in Delhi and Farzana Fiaz it is apparent that conflicting stories are emanating from the Pakistani Government and Local Police (sic):

Sahil Saeed was seized by gunmen last Thursday in the last hours of a two week visit with relatives in Jhelum, in Pakistan's Punjab province.


Raja Naqqash Saeed claimed he was tortured by four armed men carrying hand-grenades as they demanded a cash payment not take the boy.

The gang eventually left with a few hundred pounds, some gold jewelry and 5-year old Sahil from Oldham. The kidnappers demanded £100,000 in ransom to be paid the following afternoon.

Contact with the kidnappers was lost and fears have since been expressed for the boy's safety.
Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan's High Commissioner to London said he believed the kidnapping as an 'inside job' by disgruntled family members who believe their British relatives are rich. Mr Saeed, who is unemployed, denies any of his relatives are involved.

Last night however the claim was repeated by Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik who said the kidnappers were close to the boy's family.

"We have certain leads which we would not like to disclose but a warning to those abductors: leave the boy because we are very near to you," he said after meeting the boy's father.
"There is someone who is very close to the family because the way the situation has happened, the way the entry was made, the way the conduct was done during the whole operation We will make sure that we make an example out of it so nobody dares to do that kind of thing."
His claims that detectives were close to arresting the kidnappers were contradicted by police in the city who said they had made no progress.

"We are totally blind with no clue in hand so far about the kidnapped child, but our investigation continues. We are concerned about the safety and security of the child," said senior police official Raja Mohammad Tahir Bashir.

It is very disturbing to the BPCA that evidence of the duality of information that comes from the Leadership in Pakistan in contrast to ground level organisations. Moreover, that fact that a leading British paper is reporting that local Police have absolutely no progress with this concern, whilst the government is purportedly laying the blame for the abduction on members of the Saeed family seems rather sordid and pernicious.

This whole incident reminds me of the Shazia Bashir case (12 year old Christian domestic servant who was raped, tortured and murdered by Mohammed Naeem, the former President of the Lahore Bar Association who has recent been freed on bail) and the manner in which initial evidence was suddenly overturned, when the purported professionals started a secondary investigation well after the incident.

I hope an pray the Saeed family receives their 5 year old boy Sahil back and that justice is eventually granted in the Shazia Bashir case.

In the meanwhile however, I believe the British Government and the European Parliament needs to review their existing "International Development" budgets to Pakistan. We need better accountability and traceability for funds that are rendered to the Government of Pakistan and a realistic plan from the Pakistani Government, for the introduction of a workable tax scheme, that will enable them to collect the requisite revenue to support themselves in future. At the moment few Pakistani's pay tax allowing feudal lords to retain power and wealth, whilst holding a nation to ransom.
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Besides this, a donation of £665 million of our taxpayers (UK Government) money going to Pakistan seems like a ludicrous response form our existing government. This coupled with a commitment to streamline the entrance of Pakistani students into our country is demoralising and wrong!
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Learn more about the ridiculous proposal agreed between Foreign Minister Ed Milliband and President of Pakistan Asif Zardari a convicted criminal - on the front page of the Pakistan Embassy website:

Christian Peoples Alliance


Dear all, I should correct my earlier faux pas I had forgotten to include the Christian Peoples Alliance in the list of political parties that have supported the cause of Pakistani Christian Persecution and that of other minorities in Pakistan.


Alan Craig a Councillor in Newham and a strong advoctae for Christian principles in the politics of Britain, attended our delegation to 10 Downing Street and has been at various Pakistani Christian Protests. MEP jean lambert of the Green Party has taken our concerns up with the Pakistani Ambassador to the EU and attended our protest on the 19th December 2009. The Christian Party produced a video of our delegation to 10 Downing Street and the Pakistani Embassy in collaboration with the Sikh Community - they ahve also filmed various other Pakistani Christian protests!.


Alan Craig has sent me an email reminding me of his effirts and I apologise profusely for any error it was not intentional. Please read Alan Craig's blog by clicking on the link below:



So there you have it the 3 parties that have shown our community tangible support are:


The Green Party

The Christian Party

The Christian Peoples Alliance.

Education is achievable - but at a price!

What is the cost of learning? Consider opportunity cost!

Here is an article recieved from retired Brigadier Samson Sharaf (sic) - we invite your comment....

ST. MARY'S COLLEGE (PREVIOUSLY AVE MARIA COLLEGE OF PROFESSIONAL AND APPLIED SCIENCES)

As a Pakistani and been involved with Development Education in the country, the biggest paradox for me has been the number of elite Christian schools in the country compared to the absence of Christian social capital to affect a change.

Christian minorities in Pakistan remain insignificant and largely fallen prey to Social Inbreeding that curtails desire, quest to rise and the will to make oneself count. This is not a conspiracy theory, but the conclusion of learned social scientists who have studied behavior of minorities in adverse conditions. The net result is that these deprived communities involve in internal struggles least condusive to inculcating pride, quest and emerging as a viable pressure group to reckon with.

Despite many efforts on our part, the situation has not changed and there seem to be more critics than friends who can cheer us on. My discussions with his Excellency Bishop Anthony Lobo began in 1995. The exchange of ideas with his rich experience became more practical when despite being a combat soldier, I was given the responsibility to reform the Army Public Education System and raise an institution of higher professional learning.

Today, Army Public College of Management and Sciences Rawalpindi stands tall in its newly constructed custom built campus. It introduced new trends in professional education like Logistics Sciences, Human Resource and Man Machine Interfaces. In 10 years the college has reached where it is whilst the first five belong to me.

The Government of Pakistan rewarded me with special citations and commendations during service and on my retirement. Bishop Lobo saw all this happening from the sidelines. Once I retired, he called me to replicate this model in which the major beneficiaries would be the deprived minorities as also other segments of the society. I took it as a religious vocation in the last part of my life, quit a very attractive job in the corporate world and took the plunge. But nothing works without money.

The earthquake of 2005, deprived the Diocese of much needed cash. As Pakistanis, we had to make our contribution to the tragedy stricken people. Apart from relief, the Bishop took the onerous task of housing and educating Kashmiri orphans for two years. Also, the primary block of St. Mary's Academy developed cracks and had to be demolished and constructed anew. As a consequence, there was no money left to raise a professional college. With Bishop Lobo's fast deteriorating health, traveling became prohibitive and so the generation of overseas funds. But we never despaired and continued to trust God. It was better late than never.

Today, St. Mary's College has made its niche at the intermediate level. We run pre university classes for engineering, medical, computer sciences and business. We are in negotiations with NCUK (http://www.ncuk.ac.uk/) and NCUK Pakistan (http://www.ncuk.edu.pk/) for running Business and Engineering classed commencing September this year. The consortium comprises some of the top British Universities with a facility for students to complete 1-2 years in Pakistan and the remaining in the MAIN CAMPUS of the parent university. NCUK appears inclined for all assistance due to the humanitarian and inclusive character of our objectives. The cooperation is well past the teething stages and awaits a final nod.As you would realize, St. Mary's College is taking yet another plunge from very humble beginnings.But within the team, we have the character and desire to take the plunge and Make it Happen. We also owe it to our down trodden community in Pakistan to produce officers, bureaucrats business managers, doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs. This will help us secure our future in a country where we have made significant but unsung contributions.

Most we owe it to the vision and vigor of his Excellency Bishop Anthony Lobo who is retiring due to failing health. As Rector of the college, I request all brothers and sisters to encourage us in our mission. I also request all friends to help us with ideas, enrollment of students, kind and cash contributions. Depending on the response to my request, I shall intimate to you the account number for direct Debit Transfer to the Bank. Your contributions will go a long way in MAKING THIS HAPPEN.Please give this mail wide circulations to friends who are not masters.

We are grateful to AVSI for making happen what has happened so far. Their generosity was a very big help.

With Peace and Love of ChristBrigadier (Retired) Samson Simon Sharaf
Rector St Mary's College, Mazhar Qayyum Road, Lalazar Rawalpindi, 46000, Pakistan

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Message on Pakistani Embassy website:


Foreign Secretary David Miliband calls on President Zardari

London: British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called on President Zardari on Sunday 28th February, during the latter’s private visit to the United Kingdom.

During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations and expressed satisfaction that ever since the democratic government had assumed office in Pakistan relationship between the two countries have further strengthened.

The close cooperation was manifested in the increased number of high level visits, and enhancement of UK’s development assistance from £ 240m in 2007 to £ 665m, which is an acknowledgment of Pakistan’s contribution to the international war on terror, and the need to offset the negative impact in socio-economic sectors. Appreciating Pakistani forces’ successful military operations against the militants and the extremists, he paid tribute to those Pakistanis who laid down their lives in this noble cause.

President Zardari and Foreign Secretary Miliband noted that the progress in relations has been further marked with the establishment of Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FODP), pioneered by the Great Britain’s agreement to establish a Summit level Strategic Dialogue during President’s visit in May 2009; and formation of a high level Education Task Force by the UK to assist Pakistan in reforming its education sector. The issues of visas, particularly of the Pakistani students and immigration matters, also came under discussion.

They assessed the regional situation including Pakistan – India dialogue and Afghanistan. Mr Miliband stressed the need for India and Pakistan to engage with each other and supported resumption of composite dialogue between the two countries.

Acknowledging the pivotal role of Pakistan, he conveyed his country’s deep appreciation for Pakistan’s support to the efforts towards peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan.

The President also made a strong case for Pakistan’s requirement of ‘Market Access’ for its products in the EU and sought the UK’s support to that end.

The President also emphasized early mitigation of visa problems faced by Pakistani students. Foreign Secretary Miliband assured the President that there was no discrimination against Pakistani students and delays in visas would be streamlined.

The UK is Pakistan’s lead EU partner in terms of trade, investment and development assistance. On February 16, the DFID in collaboration with Punjab Government launched a £ 50m project in the Pakistan’s dairy sector.

The Pakistani Diaspora in the UK is a source of great strength to the bilateral relations and reinforces the two governments’ efforts towards solidifying relations.


February 28, 2010

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

House of Lords vote to allow Civil Partnerships to take place in Church


Message from Christian Concern for our Nation:


Last night (2nd March 2010) the House of Lords voted to change the law on Civil Partnerships, allowing them to be performed in Churches and/or with religious language.
The amendment, which was introduced by Lord Alli, an openly homosexual Peer, and backed by a number of liberal Bishops, effectively removes one of the final distinctions between Marriage and Civil Partnerships—introduced just five years ago as being purely secular in nature.

The amendment was voted through at 11pm, by 95 votes to 21—an extraordinarily low number for such an important matter—and was hailed as a breakthrough by homosexual activists.

In January 2010, the Government had resisted Lord Alli’s amendment, reassuring the public that it was ‘not a workable solution to this issue’. However, in an unexpected move, the government suddenly allowed its Peers a free vote on the issue. The Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats also gave its Peers a free vote.

Ironically, the amendment was advanced as an issue of religious freedom, with some religious organisations voicing their desire to hold Civil Partnership ceremonies.

However, homosexual activists have previously made it clear that any change in the law would only be a step towards forcing churches to perform civil partnerships. For example, Ben Summerskill, Head of Stonewall, recently said: “Right now, faiths shouldn’t be forced to hold civil partnerships, although in ten or 20 years, that may change.”

Andrea Williams, Director of CCFON, said:

“What took place last night is nothing short of outrageous and all who care about democracy should be alarmed at the proceedings. At the end of January, Baroness Royall for the Government stated that: ‘Any change can therefore be brought only after proper and careful consideration of these issues.’

“Was this statement deliberately deceitful, or do the Government believe that last night’s debate constituted the ‘proper and careful consideration’ of the issues? The amendment was debated for less than an hour and was voted through literally at the eleventh hour, taking everybody by surprise. To have such a significant change in the law—a change to another piece of legislation no less—take place at the end of the Equality Bill’s passing, without any real debate or consultation, and at such an hour that most Peers were not even in the House, is a disgrace and a clear manipulation of the system.

“We will be calling on the Government to resist these changes, for the good of our democracy as well as for the protection of marriage.”

It is not the first time that constitutional irregularities have been used to force through law that significantly favours homosexual activists. In 2006 Lord Alli introduced amendments to the Equality Bill 2005/6 at the very last moment, which led to the creation of the Sexual Orientation Regulations 2007. These highly controversial regulations were passed through on a take it or leave it basis, with no debate at all in the House of Commons and amongst other things have led to the closing of Catholic adoption agencies.

Andrea Minichiello Williams

Christian Concern for our Nation

Woman falsely accused of Blasphemy - Police refute breach of law

Message from John Bosco (sic):
DearAll,
I am sharing this sad news with you.

This time woman from Wandu, a village in the Gujranwala is another victim of Blasphemy. A 34-year-old Christian woman was accused of blasphemy on March 1, 2010, in Wandu, a village in the Gujranawala district of Pakistan’s Punjab state, when she refused to sell her cosmetics shop to aspiring Muslim shop owners in the market.

According to details obtained by ANS, Gulzar Kanwal owned a cosmetic shop in the area which was popular with the residents of Wandu and nearby areas as women preferred to go to her shop because she was the only female who had a cosmetic shop in Wandu.

Professional Jealousy ANS has learned that popularity of Kanwal’s business made the local Muslim shopkeepers jealous of her and of late they started making persistent demands on Kanwal to sell her shop to them.

On March 1, 2010, Haji Ahsan, a Muslim shop owner asked Kanwal if she was interested in selling her shop to Muhammad Bashir, one of the Muslim shopkeepers who wanted to buy it, to which Kanwal said she was not interested in selling her shop.

According to Zeeshan, a caseworker of the Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan (SLMP) Muslim shop owners -- Muhamamd Bashir, Muhammad Hafeez Salman and Maqsood Boota -- gave Kanwal’s comment regarding not selling her shop a religious tinge and accused her of committing blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.

As the word got out, hundreds of local Muslims gathered in front of Kanwal’s shop, shouting slogans against the alleged blasphemer. Sohail Johnson, Chief Coordinator of the Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan told our correspondent that the angry mob hurled obscenities at the “blasphemer” and attempted to beat her. Johnson said that the police officials from Wandu police station, which is near the market, came to rescue her.

Johnson quoted, Samiullah Khan, the Station House Officer of the Wandu Police station as saying that the situation would have been out of control if he had not immediately arrived at the scene of incident. According to Johnson all parties were summoned to the police station for an investigation and a police investigation proved Kanwal’s innocence.

ANS has discovered that the police found Kanwal not guilty of making blasphemous remarks against the Prophet Muhammad as Haji Ahsan, a Muslim shop owner swore in front of the Station House Officer of the Wandu Police Station that Kanwal did not commit blasphemy but that she had only refused to sell her shop.

Commenting on rising incidence of abuse of Pakistan’s disputed blasphemy laws Sohail Johnson said that local churches and the church-run schools had to be shut as local Christians feared possible violence after Kanwal was accused of committing blasphemy.

Mr. Johnson called for immediate repeal of Pakistan blasphemy laws. “We held talks with local police officials and that helped Wandu from turning into another Gojra,” he said. Gojra is a small town in Punjab province of Pakistan which lately had seen gruesome violence against Christians after rumors had spread that Christians had committed blasphemy.

Johnson added: “The impartial investigation of the police of a blasphemy accusation can help innocent Christians from being killed at the hands of angry Muslim mob. An unbiased police investigation can also help save Christians’ houses from being burnt by outraged Muslims. “The police should discourage miscreants who attempt to get false Police First Information Reports lodged apparently to settle personal scores,” said Johnson.

Stressed and uncertain Kanwal’s brother-in-law, Pastor Mansab told our correspondent that Kanwal was the only breadwinner of the family. “She is stressed and uncertain about her future as she cannot imagine reopening her shop because of death threats that have been directed at her after she was accused of committing blasphemy,” said Mansab. Mansab further told our correspondent that about two years ago Muhammad Bashir had collected 50 Pakistani Rupees (0.589 US$) from each shopkeeper to pump out the rain water. Mansab alleged that Bashir neither pumped out the rain water or did not give the money back to the shopkeepers.

Muhammad Bashir, he said, had then misbehaved with Kanwal, who went along with other shopkeepers to claim her money back. “He (Muhammad Bashir) passed indecent remarks against Kanwal prompting her to hurl shoe at Bashir,” said Mansab recalling a dispute between Kanwal and Muhammad Bashir two years ago.

According to Mansab, Bashir had since not forgiven Kanwal and had rather been badgering her under one pretext or another.

Police say situation is under control Talking to ANS correspondent by phone, Samiullah Khan, the Station House Officer of Wandu Police Station said that it was a minor dispute between two shopkeepers. He said he did not lodge First Information Report after arriving at the conclusion during the investigation that Muhammad Bashir was trying to falsely implicate Kanwal in a blasphemy case.

Asked if the police could help avert violence against weaker segments of society including the Christians of Pakistan if they carry out investigation impartially, Khan said it was duty of the police to carry out investigation in an unbiased manner “as it would definitely help promote culture of inter-faith harmony in Pakistan.”

When our correspondent asked him what was the current situation in the village, vis-à-vis Christians, he said normalcy had returned to the area. Some 400 Christian families are residing in Wandu village.

Mansab disputed Samiullah Khan’s claim that calm had returned to the area saying that the Christians of the area were still living in “fear and insecurity.” He disclosed that Muslims had also attempted to attack two churches but the police dispersed them. Mansab told our correspondent that the local Muslims have been threatening to kill Kanwal since the occurrence of the incident.

Pastor Sushens of the Full Gospel Assembly Church in Wandu appreciated the role the Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan played in Kanwal’s case. He also commended Samiullah Khan, the Station House Officer of the Wandu Police Station, for carrying out unprejudiced investigation. Sushens said that the incident had sent a wave of fear among the local Christians and did not rule out possible violence Courtesy by Persecution.org.


Dear all, Please pray for her life and the innocent people surrounded in her family.


1. Find the quick solutions to modify the Blasphemy law through which many people have died or under the dread of death?

2. When the Blasphemy Law will be repelled? Could Govt of Pakistan give us the exact date of its dismissal?

3. Why not the real culprits who violated the law by giving the false statements were not charged?

4. Is this possible for Gulzar Kanwal to open her shop again? If yes, who will give the surety and security of her life?

5. Severe punishment is the answer to the people who settle their personal dispute? However the question is who is going to punish?

6. Why the bail is granted to the people who play the dirty game with the lives of innocent people?
Your brother:


John Bosco