Thursday, 6 November 2014

Killing of Christian couple condemned

Members of the Muslim and Christian community expressed their resentment at a protest on Thursday over the recent killing of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan, near Lahore.
“Please do not burn us in the name of religion, we too are Pakistanis and your brothers and we can not even think of desecrating the Holy Quran,” said the head of the Muslim Christian Unity Forum (MCUF) Sameul Yaqub.
Christians living in Rawalpindi and members of the civil society condemned the incident and decided to protest in front of the press clubs of the twin cities today.
The MCUF chief further expressed discontent and blamed the media for not highlighting the incident as much as it should have been.
While talking to The Express Tribune, Yaqub said some sections of the media did not fairly report the incident, implying that the couple did desecrate the holy book. “It is quite regrettable that in spite of the fact that we are Pakistanis; we are treated like aliens,” he said.
“We do not trust the investigations because in a number of examples aggressors were set free after being investigated despite being guilty,” he remarked.
Basharat Khokhar, a social worker, questioned why such blasphemy only occurred in Punjab. “We are living peacefully with our Muslim brothers in Khyber-Pakhunkhwa but we are not safe in Punjab due to the present government,” he alleged.
Talking about the police presence at the scene of the crime, Khokhar said “They could have dispersed the mob by resorting to aerial firing but they chose to do nothing, which means that they are also abettors and killers.”
He said like all crimes against minorities in the past, this one too will be left unsolved.
Sarwar Bari, another social activist, said it is a specific mindset which is targeting minorities. He added that the unjust use of the blasphemy laws should be stopped.
Human right activist Basharat Maseeh said a fair trial is the right of every human being but unfortunately, the couple was not even given a chance to prove their innocence.
“Our society is collectively heading towards destruction,” he said. He called for a thorough investigation in the matter.
Catholic Church Cathedral Peshawar Priest Father John William said this is the worst example of the misuse of the blasphemy law. After the introduction of Article 295-C, people are blatantly misusing this law, he said.
“The law should either be repealed or amended,” he demanded, saying that “We feel deprived and devastated to see the lukewarm response from the government and judiciary.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2014.

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