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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Christian Boy falls for Muslim Girl - Christian Community falls under Muslim oppression

Love can sure hurts sometimes!

Here is a story I received today regarding a Young Christian man entangled in an affair with a young Mulsim Girl.  A product of this relationship has been an attack on the previously peaceful town.  Other young men have been tortured in an attempt to obtain the whereabouts of the culprit.  This article is printed prima facie (sic):

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission PAKISTAN: The Christian community in Karachi needs immediate protection from imminent attacks by extremists
Around a dozen Christian youths were arrested and tortured and their houses searched by their Muslim neighbours in the presence of police officers to arrest a young Christian man, Zohaib alias Noami, (20), the son of Pervez Rahi, who was in love with a Muslim girl, Anum, (18), the daughter of Muhammad Abid. Noami and Anum ran away together on the night of November 20 to marry in another city. After the incident a reign of terror was spread though the Christian community living in Baldia town and Saeedabad, Karachi, the capital of Sindh province.

The houses were attacked by Muslims in groups and many young Christians were arrested and handed over to the police. After being severely beaten by the mob they were taken to the Saeedabad Police Station where they were tortured by the police officers to reveal Naomi's whereabouts.

Whilst the incident happened within the jurisdiction of Baldia Town it was the Saeedabad police that carried out the arrest of the young Christian men. The frenzied mob attacked houses belonging to local Christians and also tried to attack Saint Luke's Church. The town police officer of Baldia immediately sent police reinforcements to protect the Church. The presence of the police officers halted any further attacks but the fundamentalists threatened the community that the police will not be able to remain forever and when they left the church would be destroyed.

The schools in the vicinity have remained closed since November 21 and almost all the Christians, about 600 of them, left their houses. Those that remained have sent their daughters and women-folk out of the area fearing a strong reaction from the Madressas, the Muslim religious schools in the locality. In the meantime the male members of the Christian families have been ordered to report to the police station and inform them of the whereabouts of Noami.

The Asian Human Rights Commission wishes to warn the government to take serious and definitive action before things turn bloody and the looting and burning of Christian houses begins. It must be emphasised that in Baldia Town there are also the pockets of Taliban and other banned extremists organizations working for Al-Qaida who will use this incident of the love affair of between a Muslim girl and a Christian boy as the argument they need to protect the blasphemy law. The Government, particularly the authorities in the Sindh province, must provide full protection to Christian families of which are more than 5000 in Baldia and the surrounding areas.

It has been frequently observed in the past that the police always worked under the pressure from extremist groups and have never protected members of the communities of religious minority groups. Therefore to stop yet another attack on the Christians and their community the government should take immediate action. They must immediately instigate a dialogue between the different sections of Muslims and Christians in order to resolve this situation peacefully. Both Islam and Christianity are religions that promote love, peace and harmony and it is vital that this is pointed out strongly to members of both sides.

There is another more detailed story on this matter that can be found by clicking the link below:

Ancient Christian communities are being wiped away!


Here is an interesting blog article written by one of our supporters from the Jewish Community - it talks of the growing angst against Christian communities living in Islamic states:

http://jewishrefugees.blogspot.com/2010/11/gurdian-ignores-inferior-status-of.html

It would be interesting to hear your views....

Kind regards

Monday, 29 November 2010

Christian Voice support our protest and inform of their own campaigns.


1 HALAL MEAT - NEW VIDEO
2 WITNESS FOR CONDEMNED PAKISTANI CHRISTIAN
3 WEST HAM PRAYER: Saturday 4th December

1 HALAL MEAT - NEW VIDEO
We have posted a video revealing the truth about the halal meat scandal, why it is happening, which supermarkets are secretly dumping halal meat on the non-halal market and which you can in good conscience buy from.  No scenes of animal slaughter, just the facts.

There is also a new petition calling for honest labelling.  Be the first to sign!
PRAY: That the Lord will use the video to inform Christians and others.  Pray that MPs in particular will understand the issue of halal meat through the representations of their constitutents.

2 WITNESS FOR CONDEMNED PAKISTANI CHRISTIAN
There will be a witness for Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman condemned to death for allegedly blaspheming Mohammed on Saturday 4th December in London.  It starts at the Pakistan High Commission, 35 Lowndes Square, SW1X 9JN at 12 noon, and ends at 10 Downing Street.  The story is HEREMore HERE.
EMAIL: the Pakistani High Commissioner, His Excellency Wajid Shasul Hasan on ss2php@yahoo.co.uk to demand that Asia Bibi be released.
PRAY: That President Zardawi of Pakistan will respond to international calls for Asia Bibi to be released.  Pray for a good turnout for the witness, which is being organised by Pakistani Christians in the UK.

3 WEST HAM PRAYER: Saturday 4th December
The next prayer meeting at West Ham against the proposed 'megamosque' - and for our nation - is on Saturday 4th December. With a Planning Enquiry in the New Year, there is much to pray for.  Start 10.30am finish time 12.30pm latest.  (Many of us will aim to join the witness for Asia Bibi afterwards.)
West Ham Station is on the Fenchurch Street line to Southend, and on the Hammersmith and City, District and Jubilee underground lines.  Check at www.tfl.gov.uk for 'planned engineering works' to the Tube.
Meet at the site where the Greenway pedestrian path crosses Canning Road.  Aim for Channel Sea House, E15 3ND.
From West Ham Station, turn right out of the station, turn right along Manor Road, under the railway bridge, under the sewer bridge and if on foot turn left into Leywick Street, then left into Abbey Road then left into Canning Road, which is where we shall be.  If by car, turn into Mitre Road which becomes Abbey Road, but you will need to park in Leywick Street and walk the rest or take a chance and park at Channel Sea House.
Although the 'megamosque' cannot now be built in time for the Olympics, we must pray into the planning processes and also begin to look forward to the 2012 Olympics as an evangelistic opportunity.
Do come and stand up for Christ whatever the weather and be challenged and blessed!  (Phil 1:27-29).  The meeting is always a great time of fellowship.  Future date: 1st January 2011.  What a great way to start the New Year!
PRAY: That Tablighi Jamaat will be exposed and its plans for a London base will be confused and thwarted.  (2Chron 20:22)

'Lord, to whom whall we go?  Thou hast the words of eternal life.' (John 6:68)
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. (1Cor 16:13)

Yours in our gracious Lord's mighty name,

Stephen Green,

National Director, Christian Voice.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Asia Bibi - Pakistan's Rosa Parks!

"The bus was among the first ways I realized there was a black world and a white world."

All over the world people have heard of Rosa Parks the indomitable woman who had the strength of conviction to sit in her bus seat in protest to the abject conditions for black people in America.  In those days black people were not allowed to seat in the first 4 rows or the back of public buses.  They were required to sit in the middle seating area and were often asked to give up their seats, if the seats for white people were not available. 

On one fateful day on the 1st of December 1955 in downtown Montgomery Rosa's defiance and subsequent imprisonment and torture, led to riots across America and a strengthening of the civil rights movement in the USA.   Parks was charged with a violation of Chapter 6, Section 11 segregation law of the Montgomery City code, even though she technically had not taken up a white-only seat—she had been in a colored section.  Trumped up charges were commonplace against black victims of a biased and unfair legal system (sounds familiar....?).  In Rosa' America black people attained a low 7% literacy rate that echoes the existing literacy rate for Christians and other minorities in Pakistan.

Rosa detailed her motivation in her autobiography, My Story:


“ People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in."

On Sunday, December 4, 1955, plans for the Montgomery Bus Boycott were announced at black churches in the area, and a front-page article in The Montgomery Advertiser helped spread the word. At a church rally that night, those attending agreed unanimously to continue the boycott until they were treated with the level of courtesy they expected, until black drivers were hired, and until seating in the middle of the bus was handled on a first-come basis.


Rosa later recalled:
“I did not want to be mistreated, I did not want to be deprived of a seat that I had paid for. It was just time... there was opportunity for me to take a stand to express the way I felt about being treated in that manner. I had not planned to get arrested. I had plenty to do without having to end up in jail. But when I had to face that decision, I didn't hesitate to do so because I felt that we had endured that too long. The more we gave in, the more we complied with that kind of treatment, the more oppressive it became."

On November 13, 1956, the United States Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation on buses operating within the individual states, deeming it unconstitutional. The court order arrived in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 20, 1956, and the bus boycott ended the next day.

On December the 4th 2010 much like the Montgomery Bus Boycott we are asking Pakistani Christians across the globe to join us in protest.  If we can all unite behind Asia Bibi an icon for our cause we could finally make the world recognise the mistreatment our people have suffered since the inception of Pakistan.  Rosa became a universal legend and her stance has been recognised by the  U.S. Congress who later called her "the first lady of civil rights", and "the mother of the freedom movement".  Rosa was also awarded the 1979 Spingarn Medal  the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal and a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall.  

Learn more about Rosa here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Parks

Asia Bibi's sacrifice is no different from Rosa's and time will tell if Pakistan will in future honour a woman who has undergone severe torture and persecution, for a crime of conscience that has ignited the civil rights movement in Pakistan.

Our Protest on the 4th December is being supported by the Following Pastors:
  • Canon Yacub Masih
  • Rev Asif Gill
  • Rev Samuel Noel
  • Rev Samuel Qasir
  • Please join the list....

Asia Bibi an unfortunate victim of the second class citizenship imposed on religious minorities in pakistan

Free Asia Bibi Protest - 4th December 2010

Hundreds rally for Asia Bibi in Karachi (Nov 25th) despite threats of death - will you join a peace rally in the safety of London?

With the eyes of the world on the situation in Pakistan surrounding the case of Asia Bibi, we are stirred by the commitment from President Zardari,  who has visibly indicated that he wishes for justice to be done in her case.  He has commissioned an enquiry via the Minister for Minorities Shabhaz Bhatti that has recommended a full pardon and immediate suspension of her sentence.  President Zardari also stayed the Execution after a mercy plea sent by the Christian Muslim Forum and the BPCA.  The early work has been completed favourably and now is the time for the President to take appropriate action by granting a full pardon.  With this in mind, the BPCA with other Urdu and English speaking churches across the UK has organised a demonstration in London to encourage an expedient decision.  

Asia Bibi the mother of 4 daughters (of whom one is disabled) and one son has been subjected to inhumane torture and abuse all her life.  Co-workers in the falsa filed in which she was a produce collector, refused to drink from the same well as her.  On one occasion they refused to share the water kindly provided to her abusers, as she had inadvertently made it unholy - by being a Christian. 

Asia was beaten possibly raped and saw her children set upon by the same men that had undertaken the diabolical action on her.  This strong, passionate and proud woman has served 1 and a half years in prison on trumped up charges, accusing her of a blasphemy.  Simply because she confessed the love of her Christ for her and her people.

Asia has become a beacon of hope for oppressed people everywhere and an emblem of strength to the cause of millions of persecuted Christians. 

The BPCA wish to support Asia through this terrible trial she is suffering and we plead we people of all faiths to rally to her cause.  We ask that you support this woman in her stand against the formidable foe of oppression, that has consumed much of her joy and that of other people of minority faith in Pakistan.

In an attempt to urge the President of Pakistan to stop delaying justice for this woman we have organised a protest march the details are as follows:

10:30: Set up to the fore of Pakistan Embassy, Lowndes Square, Knightsbridge (feel free to join us and to assist)

11:00: 1 hour worship service
12:00: Submission of petition at Pakistan Embassy
12:00 - 12:30: 30 minutes of political speeches
12:30: Protest march starts and head towards 10 Downing Street
14:00: Arrive at 10 Downing Street - 10 minutes of political speeches
14:10: Submission of Petition at 10 Downing Street
14:15: Volunteer Speakers from amongst the visitors.
14:30: Prayer and close.


Asia has stood up for her faith in the face of much derision and immense torture.  Nothing has made her yield her spirit, courage or faith.  Will you brave the cold weather and reject other commitments to stand and be counted for this woman and millions of other suffering people in Pakistan.

Asia Bibi a giant among woman - Pakistan's Rosa Parks! - Will you join her cause.....

Shabhaz Bhatti speaks to BBC Urdu


Shahbaz Bhatti spoke candidly about the case of Asia Bibi in a recent BBC Urdu interview on  26th November 2010:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/multimedia/2010/11/101126_minority_minister_iv_aw.shtml?s

Friday, 26 November 2010

Christmas Concert at St Paul's Church - 12th December 2010

 Voice for Jesus performing at the BPCA Blog

Christmas Concert at St Paul's Church, Stoke Road, Slough, SL2 5AS:

Featuring Voice for Jesus – Hammad Baily & other artists singing English & Urdu songs

Have you already started planning your Christmas present list?
This concert is to raise money for instruments for six churches in Gujranwala, Pakistan who do not even have a Harmonium or Tabla for their musicians to lead worship.  Come & hear the story of Amanat Saaz, the blind musical teacher who wants our help to buy these instruments.  Please help make Christmas special this year for the churches in Pakistan.
                                       

For further details contact:  sallybaily@btconnect.com or call 07836 251432


Sally Baily sent a message:

Dear Friends,

Please find attached poster for our Christmas concert to raise funds for instruments for churches in Pakistan on Sunday 12th December 2010 at 6.30pm at St Paul’s Slough. Above is a picture of Amanat Saaz the blind musician from Pakistan who is teaching music in the churches around Gujranwala.


You can find examples of Amanat’s work on Youtube he plays the flute, harmonium and tabla. Amanat is the inspiration behind this fund raising concert.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkPiBnE3EtM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-v11tNPZOI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfV4P96JNPk&feature=related

God Bless you

Sally and Hammad

Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti Proposes Abolishment of Blasphemy Laws

President Zardari Announces a Committee To Review The Blasphemy Laws

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minorities Mr Shahbaz Bhatti met with President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday and presented his report on the Asia Bibi Case and the Blasphemy Laws.

The Federal Minister in his investigation report proved that Asia Bibi is innocent and that the blasphemy case registered against her is baseless, false, concocted and based on personal and religious enmity.
Federal Minister explained in his report the mala fide intention of the complainant and witnesses in this case to victimize the Christian woman.

The federal Minister recommended that Asia Bibi be released or Pardoned from prison if her pending appeal in the Lahore High Court is not addressed within an appropriate time frame. The President in return has agreed to pardon Asia Bibi if her appeal languishes in the Court.
In his report to President Zardari, Mr Shahbaz Bhatti has proposed complete abolishment of the controversial and widely misused Blasphemy Laws, promulgated in Pakistan by the military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq in 1986 and has since then been misused by Islamic extremists to victimize and ostracize religious minorities, and to settle personal scores. The Law fosters injustice and sectarian violence.
President Zardari has called for the formation of high level committee; This Committee will be headed by the Federal Minister for Minorities Mr Shahbaz Bhatti, who will propose names of scholars and experts to review/revisit the blasphemy laws and propose recommendations to effectively prevent its misuse.

The committee will put forward its recommendations in consultation with political parties, Islamic scholars, religious parties, human rights organization, minority representatives and all other stakeholders, for the consideration of the government.

President Zardari has said that the government would not allow anyone to misuse the blasphemy laws and would take all appropriate measures whether administrative, procedural or legislative to stop the growing incidents of misuse of the blasphemy laws.

Shahbaz Bhatti Federal Minister for Minorities has long campaigned against the blasphemy laws, Hard-line Islamic groups have threatened to behead him in the past and even now as he leads the campaign against Blasphemy laws, they continue to warn him of dire consequences.

Protest and demonstrations by Islamic groups are being carried out across the country denouncing any attempt to bring about any changes in the blasphemy laws.
Furthermore the Taliban a banned Islamic Organization have warned that any changes in the blasphemy laws would lead to anarchy in the country.
  
Today after proposing the abolishment of these laws to the President of Pakistan, Shahbaz Bhatti states, "I am not afraid of these threats; I am ready to sacrifice everything for the principles that I believe in."


Research and Advocacy Cell
All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA)

Transworld Radio inform listeners of Asia Bibi Case

Today Transworld Radio interviewed Wilson Chowdhry regarding the Asia Bibi case and the ensuing volatile situation in Pakistan.

In an email they said:

Hi Wilson


The interview will be first on our list of news features today on our programme ‘TWR-Today’, broadcast live between 12 – 12:30pm.


We would not be able to provide the actual audio from the interview to be put on your blog or web page BUT you can post a link to our website for people to listen to the interview. Today’s programme will be available from around 1pm.


http://www.twr.org.uk


Many Thanks


Trevor Newman
Assistant Producer, TWR-UK.

Condemnation of Death Sentence to Asia BiBi - prominent Muslims join our cause!

Condemnation of Death Sentence to Asia BiBi
Under Blasphemy Law

I condemn the death sentence of Asia Bi Bi under Blasphemy Law. Awarding such barbaric punishment to anyone under such so called Sharia Law is against the universal principles of humanity. .

I appeal to all Pakistanis to stand up against clergy and oppose such draconian punishments.  

The use of religion to deny justice to people is naked brutality which has no space in any modern day society.

Islam is an egalitarian religion which teaches human beings to live fear-free and peaceful lives in a peaceful country. In Pakistan , so much religious deviation has taken place it has become difficult to differentiate between what is Islamic and un-Islamic.

By implementing tribal punishments in the guise of Islam is taking toll on Pakistan society. Idealizing historical incidents from the early days of Islam is an open invitation for social disorder and mass scale violence in Pakistani society. We are already witnessing such incidents in all parts of Pakistan where people have started taking law into their own hands.

It is about time for the members of the governing elite and the people of Pakistan to clearly define what type of Pakistan they want. Do they want a Pakistan where people start killing people or have them killed through state apparatus simply for uttering words which people of one set of faith do not like?

It is heart breaking to see comments from many learned scholars of Islam in support of death sentence of Asia Bi Bi. Supporting death sentence to Asia Bi Bi by these scholars is causing a bad name to Islam.

 I appeal to the government and the people of Pakistan to stand up against this un-Islamic act in the name of Islam and save Islam from becoming a stigma in the world.

Dr Ashraf Abbasi

Express TV covers Shahbaz Bhatti report on Asia Bibi


We have received a positive message from Brother Asif Mall regarding the report from Shahbaz Bhatti (sic):

Dear Friends,

Please find below links to two video clips for TV discussions on Asia Bibi and Blasphemy Laws, it seems like Shahbaz Bhatti did true representation of the sentiments of Pakistani nation.

Express News: Pakistani Talk Show, Kal Tak 22 Nov 2010, with Javed Choudhry as Host:
Aasia Bibi, Blasphemy and Blasphemy Law in Pakistan:
Guests: Tahira Abdullah (Human Rights Activist), Dr. Atiqur Rehman
(JUI-F Scholar), Shahbaz Bhatti (PPP) Federal Minister for Minorities

http://pkonweb.com/2010/11/blasphemy-law-in-pak-kal-tak-22-nov-2010/ 

Dunya TV: Program Dunya Meray Aagay

http://pkpolitics.com/2010/11/22/dunya-meray-aagay-22-november-2010/

Shalom,
Asif Mall-Chairman
Pakistan Minorities Rights Organisation

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Shabhaz Bhatti calls for full pardon


Shabhaz Bhatti has presented a report to Government today and has recommended a full pardon and suspension of the sentence given to Asia Bibi.   There is mounting pressure on the Pakistani Government from Western Governments and agencies seeking the freedom of Asia.

http://app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=122835&Itemid=2

Today the BPCA board discussed the possibility of organising a protest to the fore of the Pakistan Embassy next weekend and a peace demonstration to 10 Downing Street.  We will be calling Pakistani pastors up and own the country today, to seek their advice and support.

It is imperative that all groups continue the pressure on the Pakistan Government, as although early indications suggested that he was going to make the honourable decison to quash the initial judicial decison, Presidenst Zardari has protracted the final act of annulment, which suggests we must still all be prepared for a more vigorous campaign. 

Asia Bibi is still in prison and reports of the standard of their cells and abuses that occur in them, is reason enough for us to show a continued high level of concern.  The family of Ashiq Bibi are being threatened continuously as more and more fanatic groups and stirring people into an extremist religious frenzy. 

Several protests have occurred in Islamabad, Karachi and Sheikupura that have created a very volatile miasma in Pakistan. 

At the incident outside Sheikhupura District Jail on the 23rd November, it is said that thousands of Muslims reacted to news that Asia was going to be released. The lawyers of Sheikhupura District and Nankana Districts boycotted courts demanding the cancellation of any pardon to Asia Bibi.  It is rumoured that the Jamiat Ulma Islam (JUI) have informed President Asif Zardari that any pardon of Asia Bibi will spark unrest in Pakistan and that they would condemn any decision to pardon Asia. 

Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC issued a statement at the Central Secretariat of PCC at Karachi.  He said:

“We demand repeal of blasphemy law because revision in law will not stop misuse of blasphemy law”

Nazir Bhatti also made and appeal to the Government of Pakistan saying:

"Adopt necessary security measures for protection of Asia Bibi because she is not safe in jail and the gathering of Muslims in front of jail as a consequence of false news of her release, is cause of concern for Christians in Pakistan."


Whatever happens as a result of the case of Asia Bibi the world is more aware of the persecution of minority groups in Pakistan.  The intolerance, injustice and lack of Government support at times of crises has been illustrated and dispalyed to a much wider audience than ever before. This has served to bolster the long ongoing campaign for equality, peace and justice in Pakistan

Our work will not finish after this case as protest for justice and counter-protests for the death of Asia have served to create an increased volatlity and polarisation of its people.  Tomorrow is the Mulsim Jummah I have grave concerns that extremists will use this day in  particular, to thrust their agenda of terror, subjugation and opression on the innocent communities living within their midst. 

Let us pray for a restoration of peace and a spirit pouring of conciliation on a country that is facing another tragedy so soon after the recent inundation.

Pakistani Muslims Join campaign for freedom of Asia Bibi


Rupee news has written a very interesting article which shows a letter of support from Akbar Navees a prominent Muslim.   It illustrates the strength of passion that has been released as consequence of the Asia Bibi Case.  Moreover, such strong words of support from leading Muslims is highlights that we need to re-evaluate our perceptions of the religious extremism in Pakistan.  Their are moderate Muslims and to paint one faith as evil and all others as pure is shortsighted and remiss.  All faiths have their own dark history and the Christian faith is not unblemished when it comes to persecution.  Now is a time to collaborate with our religious counterparts in Pakistan and to challenge this government and proceeding governments to focus on improving the lot for its people.

I have often spoken out against the rash words made against the Islamic faith during our protests.  I have also previously uploaded a letter of support from Leader of the Lancashire Mosques Salim Mullah, supporting an end to the persecution of minority faiths in Pakistan (click here).  It is only by working with men of this calibre from all faiths, that we will ever see a reform of the practice of discriminatory laws in intolerant states. 

Here is the article from Akhbar Navees:

http://ajma.org/2010/11/22/pakistani-muslims-demand-release-of-asia-bb-per-prophets-mohammads-covenant-to-christians/

Freedom for all!


I received this message from sister Dianne Ofori:

Dear Wilson,


Most of us here in the UK and Ireland have the freedom to believe. We are free to read the Bible whenever we like or to go to church and worship with other Christians whenever we want to. And we can do all of this without thinking the police might break down our door, seize our Bible and haul us off to jail.

It’s easy to forget that millions still don’t have this right to believe.

This December at the United Nations the Defamation of Religions Resolution will be voted on again. Its supporters claim that it protects religious freedom… but in reality it does the exact opposite. It gives governments the power to determine which religious views can and can’t be expressed in their country, and it gives the state the right to punish those who express ‘unacceptable’ religious views as they see fit.


So, in effect, it makes persecution legal.


Incredibly, many countries have backed this resolution in the past, but some are now changing their minds. This year, there is a real possibility the Resolution could be defeated. And you can help.


Say NO to the Defamation of Religions Resolution and say YES to the right to believe. Click here to add your name now:

http://advocacy.oduk.org/ea-campaign/clientcampaign.do?ea.client.id=77&ea.campaign.id=7285

Please act before this campaign ends on 30 November.


Thank you.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Imran Khan Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf comments on Asia Bibib case


Mr. Imran Khan, Chairman, PTI has condemned the attempt of the PPP government to make political capital out of the unfortunate case of Aasia Bibi. .




Mr. Khan termed blasphemy law (Section 295-C of PPC), which has been misused over the years to unfairly target minorities, against the spirit of Islam and Constitution of Pakistan. He said that teachings of Islam are very clear on standards of justice being equal for Muslims and non-Muslims. It is about time that religious scholars, minority leaders and political parties should sit together and amend this law with consensus and save the poor victims from the agony and suffering caused to them due to the misuse of the law.


Mr. Khan expressed his trust in Pakistan's judiciary and said that the case should go through the appeal process in the Lahore High Court.

We have cascaded our "Justice4Asia" petition to the leadership of Pakistan Thereek-e-Insaaf.  I have asked them to sign our petition and to add some comments of their party's support for equality and Justice in Pakistan.  This will be an opportunity for this party to stand in solidarity with minority faiths for a fairer and more equal Pakistan.  Signing the petition in volume will indicate that this recent press release is not just rhetoric but a demand for Justice!

Failing that, let us just assume it is the usual political chicanery we are used to......

A meaningful debate on Express News TV Yesterday

Dear all,

Here are links to the  debate (in urdu) on the Blasphemy Law held by Express News TV in Pakistan Yesterday.  It has stimulated much interest and passion about the concern:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-3TwU0yjsY  (Part 1)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwiT7NF6fvI&feature=related  (Part 2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yotj6VYM52I&feature=related  (Part 3)

Appeal for justice for kidnapped son















Dear all I have received the following appeal for justice which we have cascaded to the Ministry of Human Rights.  In the meanwhile, I will keep you updated on anything further I hear regarding the case.  Feel free to share more about this case with me which is printed as received:

 
 
November 7, 2010   
APPEAL FOR JUSTICE
   
Subject: Registration of case against Management of Daewoo Express Bus Service Lahore for recovery of my son who is kidnapped by them and Punjab Police joined hand with accused person.
 
 
My son Asher Randhawa was working in Daewoo City Bus Service Lahore, Pakistan since 1999 as senior executive.
 
During his working in Daewoo, senior management of the company (General manager Manawer Shiekh, Deputy General Manager Khurram Mirza, Manager Accounts Tahir Awan etc) under supervision of Chief Executive Mr. C.I.Kim order him to kill/shoot ex-Country General Manager of Daewoo Mr. Anam Shiekh, who is under suit with Daewoo, they ask my son some other illegal jobs also, which he refused to do. The only reason why they chose my son to do such type of illegal jobs, is that he is Christian and Daewoo management knows that Christians don’t have enough resources to stop them from such type of illegal orders. They also buy a 30 bore pistol with arms license for my son and some other workers. (Annx-1) It Results conflict between him and management of Daewoo Express Bus Service.
 
On July 6, 2010 Deputy General Manager Khurram Mirza called my son Asher Randhawa and his colleague Robin Paras (an other Christian) in his office and asked them why they did not obey his orders. When they refused to do that, he tortured them with the help of General Manager Munawar Shiekh, Manager Accounts Tahir Awan and some other workers in there so called torture cell (conference room). They snatched their mobile phones and money also. Asher and Robin warn them that they will inform Police about their illegal activities. Deputy General Manager Khurram Mirza and Tahir Awan shoot Asher Randhawa when he came out from Daewoo office at the same day (July 6, 2010). Right leg of my son Asher was severely injured and he was taken to Service Hospital by rescue 1122. An FIR was launched in Naseerabad Police Station Lahore under section 324/337 F-3 PPC against Khurram Mirza and Tahir Awan after long efforts, with the help of Senior Police Officers on July 21, 2010 because police refused to register our case. (Annx-2)
 
Management of Daewoo Express Bus Service pay heavy bribe to the investigation Police officer Inspector Zulifqar warya to hide the facts of the case. Although, we are complainants but inspector Zulifqar warya called us again and again in the police station, use rude language with us and said that I will revoke your case. How you can fight with a big company. We requested him for justice but he laughed at our request. At last we appeal before Senior Superintendent of Police (Investigation) for justice under dairy # 894 on August 5, 2010 (Annx-3) but no body helped us. On August 25, 2010 we appeal before Deputy Inspector General Police (Investigation) under dairy # 978 but in vain.(Annx-4) Instead of justice, inspector Zulifqar warya called me with my injured son in Police station and threat for sever circumstances along with he said that he will discharge our case. At last inspector Zulifqar warya discharge our case without any investigation and take heavy bribe from Daewoo. We have requested honorable Chief Justice Lahore High Court Mr. Justice Khawja Muhammad. Sharif  under dairy # 1807on September 6, 2010 which is under process. We have also appealed before honorable Chief Justice Supreme Court Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry through courier #51438258 on October 30, 2010.
 
On July 20, 2010 Daewoo Express Bus Service Lahore dismissed my son and order to deposit company assets including arms license, pistol 30 bore and salary advanced. Along with the help of Police, they started registering bogus cases against my son.
 
i)                    They registered a fake case at Naulakha Police Station Lahore on September 22, 2010 under section 420/468, 471/408 PPC FIR # 622/10. (Annx-5)
ii)                  Second bogus case was registered at Islampura Police Station Lahore on October 10, 2010 under section 506 PPC. (FIR # 1053/10) (Annx-6)
 
On October 8, 2010, when my son (Asher Randhawa) came out of session court after interim bail for his case # 622/10 under section 420/468, 471/468 PPC, some wicked people hired by Daewoo Express Bus Service attacked at him and try to kidnap him. My son filed an application at Islampura Police station Lahore at the same day under dairy # 3398-5-BiP dated October 8, 2010, but instead of registering case against Daewoo management, they register case against my son taking bribe from Daewoo on October 10, 2010 under section 506 PPC. (FIR # 1053/10) (Annx-6)
 
On October 13, 2010, when my son (Asher Randhawa) along with his colleague Robin Paras went to session court for hearing (FIR # 622/10 under section 420/468, 471/408 PPC), Tahir Awan (Manager Accounts) and Mehmood (Daewoo staff) along with six to seven more persons kidnapped them in a car before their appearing in the session court. One of them was wearing Police uniform. I filed an application for registration of case against Tahir Awan, Mehmood and six to seven unknown persons at Islampura Police Station Lahore on October 13, 2010 under dairy # 4054-5-BiP but Police hesitate to register case against them. I filed a petition # 11442 dated October 18, 2010 under section 22A-22B against SHO Islampura Police Station and court has directed him to register the case on October 23, 2010. Direction was duly received by SHO Islampura Police Station on October 25, 2010 under dairy # 4449-5-BiP but SHO did not register case against accused persons. On October 27 2010, I again request the honorable court for help and court order to SP operations concern to take strict action against SHO u/s 155/c of Police order, 2002 and ensuring of order ibid on November 2, 2010. Orders were duly received by SP office on November 4, 2010 under diary # 1587-uspc but no luck till now.   I am afraid that Daewoo people will kill my son.
 
It is policy of Daewoo administration under supervision of Chief Executive Mr. C.I.Kim, that whenever a worker doesn’t accept their illegal orders, they fire him after torture and register case against him. They have fired many workers like this, draw lot of money from company accounts and use that money for bogus cases and making their own property causing financial loss and bad name for company. No one is checking their corruption of million rupees.
 
Submitted for information and necessary action.
 
With best wishes
   
Sarwat Randhawa


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

By the grace of God Asia Bibi will be free.

Soon to be free.

The case of Asia Bibi is still unclear to many but the BPCA is confident of her release.  We have been communicating with government officials and have already informed many of you that Asia Bibi  will not be sentenced to death.  She will definitely be pardoned - if not released on bail and whisked to safety to another country.  CNN have confirmed this very same thing today on their Tuesday News report:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/11/23/pakistan.christian/?hpt=T2

We have been aware that such a decision would be made and have informed you of this from the outset.

We spoke to Ashiq Masih and he was aware of the fact that Asia's execution had been stayed.  However, he is still trusting in God, he was aware that the Governor had seen Asia last week.  He has asked for people to continue praying for the family. 

The BPCA are concerned about the full details of Asia's ordeal as we are not convinced that no sexual assault took place, despite the statement from Ashiq.   Future developments may reveal a more sordid nature to the type of attack this poor mother of 5 has had to face.  Ashiq though friendly seemed fearful and reticent to speak on this matter in any detail.   Ashiq has spoke about his movement form one safe house to the next that has been a real but necessary burden for his family.  His eldest daughter is severely disabled and is finding it difficult but they are doing what must be done to preserve their life.   In the meanwhile incumbent aid agencies are taking their photographs without providing any support in attempts to raise funds in their name. 

Ashiq and his family are surrounded by solicitors and barristers and charitable organisations.  It is difficult to have a heartfelt discussion with him as one of them intervenes.  He is constantly with a Government appointed solicitor who has advised that he is restricted form talking on certain matters as it could jeopardise Asia's case or the potential pardon.  This family needs your prayers and I urge churches up and down the country to continue to keep them in your thoughts.

The president will make the right decision when he finally pardons Asia on the behest of the provincial Governor of the Punjab.  This will be a major step for the human rights cause in Pakistan and will set a positive precedence that will out live his years.

Irrespective of the announcement we all await, I hope that the leaders of Pakistan continue the proposed alterations to the Blasphemy Law that Shahbaz Bhatti has spoken of.   This may be the only way to diffuse the malevolent yet righteous gaze the rest of the world has now set upon the nation.  However, it will not resolve the ongoing intolerance, inequality and persecution faced by the minority population of Pakistan.  It is imperative that Christian groups continue applying pressure so that we can see a more holistic cultural revolution.

********************update 24th November 2010 *********************

I phoned the Presidents suite in Pakistan this morning and enquired about progress in the Asia Bibi case.  The simple response I received was:

"The matter is in progress".  

Monday, 22 November 2010

Stay of execution is first step to freedom for Asia Bibi!


Many of you will not have noticed the alterations to our weekend story regarding Asia Bibi.  Initially our delegate in Pakistan was informed that Asia Bibi has been set free.  However, in reality after a mercy plea from the BPCA and the Christian Muslim Forum (UK) the president has agreed to stay the execution of Asia Bibi.  We amended the previous story within minutes.  The president is considering giving a full pardon to Asia Bibi and may soon set her free despite the extremist threats that are arising in Pakistan.  Please continue your prayers for Asia.

Here is a link to the letter confirming the stay of execution, received from the Ministry of Human Rights:

****This letter has been temporarily removed whilst we await a formal more public letter from the Ministry of Human Rights.****
Pakistani Media Publications are now stating that Asia is to get a full pardon and we have been highlighting this for a while as our contacts in the Ministry of Human Rights are confident of this result.  Ms Rizvi had ensured that our mercy plea alongside that from the Christian Muslim Forum were copied and personalised to all the appropriate officials in Pakistan.  Including the Governor of Punjab - Salman Taseer - who would have the primary authority in the pardoning of Asia Bibi.  We had invited others to join our campaign by adding the postal addresses for all the figurehead decision makers, within our previous campaign posts.

Our work with the Christian Muslim Forum and the Ministry of Justice was pivotal in bringing about the Stay of execution and I am sure that our joint mercy plea to the Governor of Punjab will also be influential in any decison made  for a full pardon - if reports are true.  

This is still not the end of the battle and all ready extremist groups are challenging the decision to stay the execution.  So do gear up as we could still see a supreme court hearing for this case.  I would urge people of all faiths to continue the prayers, petitions and and other endeavours to bring justice Asia Bibi.