Monday, 21 December 2015

CDA urged SC to make poor Christian homeless

CDA urged SC to make poor Christian homeless
Shamim Masih

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is made for all its citizens, irrespective to their religion and its government responsibility to provide shelter to every citizen. But Capital Development Authority (CDA) has requested the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) to allow CDA to take action along with other Government Departments, against the Christians dwellers in the capital and the residents may be returned to their native areas. This is very unfortunate that Christian parliamentarian and clergy are still silent in the country.

Christian dwellers had found their living place around the seasonal drainage (Nalaas) of Islamabad for more than three decades. They are constantly living under threat though serving in CDA and their women and children are serving the well-to-do families in the capital. Most of them work as laborer, housekeepers, street cleaner but the authorities has not provided them housing facilities. Their children are starving and families choose to sell themselves into slavery for survival, illustrated that humanity has left the nation of Pakistan.

Living across the seasonal drainages (Nalaas) and mostly affected by the flood every year in the rainy season but no disaster recovery plan or infrastructure has been put in place to enhance their safety and security. Victims lost most of their possessions every year which washed away with their homes or irretrievably ruined by water surge. But they again manage their livings. Many of them have been drowned during the raining season and died, left their children helpless. These people are living without no proper drainage system, no pure water facility, no regular electricity and gas facility provided by CDA.

Earlier Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered to demolish the slums of Islamabad. In the recent report submitted to the apex court CDA has not only declared the influx as a threat to the numerical superiority of Muslims in the capital city but bashes slum residents as land grabbing migrants who, presumably, do not contribute to the development of this country. The word “ugly” manifest repeatedly in the report as a description of the slums: They “look like ugly villages” in the beautiful city of Islamabad. They’re “ugly slums which present bad picture even (more) than ancient slums of neighboring city of Rawalpindi” Dawn reported. This is totally inhuman behavior adopted towards the Christian resident and against ethnic norms.

The most unsettling element of the report is the implication that the religion of the slum-residents makes them more problematic than usual.  The CDA report states: It is necessary to identify the fact that most of the katchi abadis are under the occupation of the Christian community who are shifted from Narowal, Sheikhupura, Sialkot, Kasur, Sahiwal and Faisalabad and occupied the Government land so badly as if It has been allotted to them and it seems this pace of occupation of land may affect the Muslim majority of the capital. This statement offers a glimpse into the minds of those who are part of the slum eradication drive.

The CDA has no plan to shift or provide alternate land and financial compensation to the dwellers and wanted them to send back to their native areas. Evocation is violation of human rights of the poor. This clearly shows the mindset of the present government that divides Pakistanis on religion lines. The constitution guarantees the right to shelter to every citizen and no one should be removed from Islamabad on the basis of religion. Asim Sajjad, President Awami Watin Party (AWP) said that he was shocked to see the report CDA has submitted to the SC to justify its actions against the Christians dwellers of the capital. Religious minorities should not be targeted on the basis of their religion. “Either no one checks such hooplas in the CDA or it has a policy to remove Christians from the city, he added. Falak Sher resident of H 9 colony said that his family is displaced from Mehrabadi like many others after the religious animosity gripped the slum after the cleric accused a young Christian girl, Rimsha of burning Quran. They settled down in H 9 but the CDA has planned to displace them again just because of their faith.

The ruling party Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) is evidently considered against the Christians in the country. Most of the inhuman retort, like burning Christian couple, burning Christian colonies after accusing any Christian had been in Punjab during its rule. Death plenty punishment was being added in blasphemy law by the God father of Nawaz Sharif, (Gen Zia ul Haq). PML-N leader was reportedly behind the burning of the hundreds of the Christens’ houses including two churches in Joseph Colony, Lahore in March, 2013. Now during the rule of the said party the civic agency plans to demolish 41 slums in different sectors of the capital and few of them are Christian populated. Earlier CDA informed the SC that katchi abadis will be demolished in four phases but no time frame was given to execute the plan.

Under phase I, the slums to be knocked down are: Street 17 of Sector I-10/1, Sector H-11/2 Kashmir Highway, Roshan Colony Sector I-12, Christian Colony Sector G-6/1-4, Dhobi Ghat G-6/2, Sector F-8/1 Nazimuddin Road, Green Belt H-12 and I-12 behind NUST, Muzaffar Colony H-11/4, Musharraf Colony G-8/4, Muhallah Dori Bagh, Miskeen Colony G-8/4, Shopper Colony G-7 Markaz, Sector H-9 and Bari Imam Katchi Abadi.
Likewise, 11 katchi abadis will be removed under phase II. They are: Chak Shahzad (PIA), Chak Shahzad Pona Faqiran, Dhoke Pathan Chamber Road Abadi, Dhoke Pathan (Sahila), Khanna Pull, New Shkrial katchi abadi, Shams Colony Bhangra Road, Rawat, Sumbal at Korak Town, Junejo Colony, Mohriyan and NIH Colony. Five similar colonies are slated to be demolished under phase III. They are: Bheka Syedan F-11, Sectors G-12, F-12, E-12 behind Khushian Wali Sarkar and I-11/2 Bakra and Surain. In phase IV, the slums to be removed are located at Sectors G-7/1, G-7/2 (66 quarters), G-7/3-2 (48 quarters), F-6/2, F-7/4 France Colony, Hansa Colony G-8/1, Essa Nagri I-9/1 and Muslim Colony, Bari Imam.

Unfortunately Christian parliamentarians do not bother to speak in the favor of Christians instead presenting “all well” reports. In 15 katchi abadis dwellers are Christians in the capital city and it is fear that if CDA takes action against these slum areas around 150,000 people will be on the roads. The action will displace the Christian community during the freezing cold season. 

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Put Your House in order first!

Put Your House in order first!
Shamim Masih

ISLAMABAD: It was a sunny morning, my cell phone was ringing, and William Javed on the other side said that Punjab Government arrested Aslam Parvez Sohtra from Islamabad in the wake of Youhanabad demonstration after the twin blasts. It was shocking news for me, as Aslam Parvez Sohtra with his team was at my house a day before his arrest. He was planning to raise voice for the victims of Youhanabad but he himself became victim; since then nobody ever raised voice for his release. Earlier local media reported and declared Sohail Johnson as main source behind this outraged. Certainly he has to run out to save his skin. This is the result if you work as human right activist and raise voice for your people. I know these people have been devotedly working for the community. It is really shameful that some people from the same community have betrayed with them. This disloyalty is not with these people but with the community.
On March 15, 2015, at least 19 people were killed and more than 80 injured when two suicide bombers attacked two churches in Youhanabad, Lahore, sparking mob violence in which two other suspected militants died. After the incident Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif has not visited the people of his own constituency to showed solidarity, instead CM has visited one killer’s family and ensured them that people form Youhanabad had been arrested.
In the entire episode that has taken place, we have seen the double standards in how things are dealt with when Muslims are the victims are becoming obvious. After the death of two men, the media and everyone else conveniently forgot the dozens of victims from the Christian community, and the threat that looms over their heads because of the actions of a few individuals. Though Christians have repeatedly condemned the unfortunate incident from various platforms but the electronic media has shied away from airing other side of the story. No one talked about the people died saving lives. No one was talking about the victims or the survivors. There should be a balanced approach to the situation from our media friends.
After the incident the mob was like an unguided missile… when they reacted no one was there to handle them neither police nor Christian leadership. The situation could have been controlled if the mob had been dispersed by bringing the leadership in, but leaderships were not seen on the ground. Any community has two leaderships, one is the political and the other is the top clergy. It is very unfortunate that our both leaders have had no statement of purpose or plan of action to deal with such situations. Unfortunately politicians have lost their trustworthiness and clergy is busy in selling church properties etc. missionary work has turned to business instead service. Clergy is not serving the nation but busy in making money. Educational institutions established under church based organization meant to serve the nation are not taking Christian students in. Big churches have ample development funds if it spends some percentage for the betterment of the community there is no doubt that Christian community will track on prosperity. There are many small churches but bigger refuse to coordinate with them. NGO sector run by Christian management is working for their vested interests. Thus the poor Christian community is seen in this meager condition.

There is routine discrimination/persecution seen around but there are number of major incidents happened like Shantinager, Sangla Hill, Gojra, Joseph colony, youhanabad etc. Even after these many incidents, I don’t see the Christian leadership neither clergy nor political showing seriousness that is expected of them. What ever happened cannot be undone but the people that are left need to be protected. Unless we are united we can’t build pressure for our rights, we won’t count for anything, and we can’t mould the government or do any opinion building. I am sure if we put our house in order, we all will lead happier life. 

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Elimination of Violence/persecution against Religious Minorities

Elimination of Violence/persecution against Religious Minorities
Shamim Masih
ISLAMABAD: There was an International conference in Islamabad on 24-25 November, 2015, to create interfaith harmony and better interaction with religious minorities of the country. It was just public show for the vested interest of close relative of the Federal Minister Sardar Yousaf and some other people. Practically the ruling party Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) has shutdown the role of Ministry of Interfaith Harmony and religious minorities has been facing same kind of discrimination. Locally people see so little solidarity and harmony but religious extremist with a specific mind set continues to violate basic human rights with impunity. For the past weeks, we saw the continued horrific, religious rights violated daily. I just returned from Distt Faisalabad where a Christian school girl, Sara, 8, has faced tortured and was locked for an hour or so by her head teacher for using toilet which is meant to use by Muslims only. Though this matter was raised in the Senate by the Senator Sharry Rehman and Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani has ordered the inquiry on this issue but there is no result. Local Christian family is pressurized to compromise with the education department. And this issue was dumped to death. Force conversion, kidnapped and rape of minorities women is on and nobody bother to look into this matter. Unfortunately some of Christian representatives are busy to present win- win situation to the west for their vested interests.
Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, chairman Pakistan Minority Alliance (PMA) has raised the issues facing minorities. Addressing to the conference Tahir Naveed Chaudhry said that to create better interaction between different religions of the country, government should stop discriminatory behavior towards religious minorities and should provide them living rights. Force conversion should stop, minority seats in the parliament house should be increased according to the population, there should be transparent and fair census, abuse and misuse of blasphemy law should end, discriminatory material in text books should be banned. He said that discrimination in the legislation shows the dual face of the country, when Article 25 protect the rights of all citizen of the country but article 41 restrict the minority members to become president, and 18th amendments has barred them to be the prime minister of Pakistan. Pakistan must stop its discriminatory behavior.
New Year can lessen the trouble from the previous year for the Pakistani minorities if government takes necessary measures to protect minorities. We are witness to the year-round occurrence and continue to an alarming degree of the violence against the Christians of the countries. Persecution against minorities is not only blasphemy allegations but is an attack on their bodily integrity and their dignity. Police brutality towards minorities is no secret. There are number of cases been reported the suspicious deaths of Christians without police custody. Lack of interest towards complaints by the Christians minority has created a recognized level of impunity that exacerbates the situation in the country. Political influence on judiciary and police has extended the forms and ways to violence and discrimination against Christian minority. Most recently, in the capital, Islamabad, PML-N sitting parliamentarian reportedly has used its power to grab land of Pak Development Foundation ® (PDF) of 1.2 acre, where PDF is running vocational institute as well. The local land grabber with the help of PML-N parliamentarian registered a First Investigation Report (FIR) -134/15, at Police Station (PS) Banni Gala, Islamabad against PDF management and Basharat Khokhar, chief Coordinator United Church Council Islamabad (UCCI).
On the other hand the refusal by police officers to even register an FIR in most cases raised by Christians, illustrate that western nation assessment of “sufficiency of protection are flawed at best – yet the big sponsors i.e Britain, the European Union and the US the current status quo will continue or reach a nadir. The West is busy in bringing Legislative amendments to enable speedy return of asylum seekers to their home country. Benefits for asylum seekers have been reduced and rules for family immigration are tightened.

People across the globe simply have to challenge their politicians to intervene on behalf of Pakistani Christians or eventually this attrition will lead the eradication of Christian in Pakistan.   We need to place an emphasis on the universality of violence against religious minorities in Pakistan, the multiplicity of its forms and the ways in which violence, discrimination against minorities, and the broader system of domination based on subordination and inequality are inter-related. The value of interfaith harmony is that it serves as a time of analysis of the issue and then of re-dedication to take both short-term and longer-range measures.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Global massacre and its root cause

Global massacre and its root cause
Shamim Masih

ISLAMABAD: After the recent Paris, attack, I had a chance to speak on TV live show on Roze TV, “Debate with Nasir”. I was among the three panelists, one political analyst Jan Achakzi and another was a journalist. Unfortunately instead of criticizing those attacks in Paris and this type of terror activities in the world, those two were arguing in the favor of terrorist and giving reasons.

Since I am writing, my struggle is against this mind set, it is not a matter or fight against Islam or its terrorist organization like Al-Qaida, Taliban, ISIS, Laskher-e-Tiybba, Jeshe-e-Mohammad, etc etc. we are fighting against the mind set and its proclamation. Though it is said that every Muslim is not terrorist and not directly involves in these organizations but most of them are having the same mind set. We are witness to many incident/persecution against minorities in the country. In Pakistan the discriminatory activities against the marginalized portion of the society clearly shows the mindset of the Islamic proclamation.  
Since 9/11 attacks in USA there is series of attacks in different areas and subsequently attacks on the bases of those organizations in the world. Many of the people give baseless excuses but forget that in every act tool is from the Muslim faith. I want to ask them why Muslims are involve in these type of activities around the world, in Philistine, Kashmir, some African countries, Middle East and other parts of the world. (Genesis 16:11-12) European and American have to think before doing any humanitarian activity for Muslims like taking in these Syrian and Egyptian refugees. Muslims are enjoying every single right in the name of humanity but not ready to give liberty to other religion in their countries. They (Muslims) go and preach Islam in other country but don’t allow to read Bible in Saudi Arabia.  
courtesy Front Line

We have seen this practice and one Muslim religious scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamidi endorsed and given the solid root cause of these terrorist activities. Javed Ahmad Ghamidi said that the root cause of terrorism that is being committed by some Muslims today is the religious thought which is being preached in the Muslim medressahs and being propagated through their political movements. Almost every single medressah and religious scholar is teaching the four main doctrines of their religious thought. They may not be doing it publicly, but they are doing it nevertheless – they surely are!

First: polytheism, kufar, or apostasy (someone abandons Islam) committed anywhere in the world, they are all punishable by death and we have the right to implement this punishment.

Secondly: they preach is that non-Muslims were born to be subjugated. None other than Muslims have the right to govern. And if there is someone ruling, every non-Muslim government is illegitimate. We shall overthrow any such government whenever we have the capacity.

The third teaching is that all the Muslims of the world should be under the rule of a single Islamic government that is called The Caliphate. Their independent, states have no legitimacy.

The fourth doctrine is that the modern nation state is the form of kufer and there is no room in Islam for it.

These are the four basic tenets of current religious thought. Pakistani government and its citizens should confront the current religious thought, this religious narrative.
It is to appreciate that the education system of the religious seminaries (medressahs) violates humans’ rights.  Any specialized education in any discipline cannot be forced onto a child. It is the right, very basic right, of every child to have twelve years of broad based education. Thereafter, he may choose to become a scholar or a scientist. Every Muslim religious seminaries work on the principle of transforming a 5-7 years old child into a religious scholar. No one has the right to do this; or to force them to become a doctor or an engineer.

After a broad based education of 12 years, they many choose to become whatever they may wish to. This practice must be abandoned. For this to take effect the civil society must prepare itself and people must educate themselves.

The Muslims government must be pressurized not to allow any institution to take students for specialization before twelve years of broad based education. Or we need to draw a line before any humanitarian activities.  

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Fighting with words against Judas Iscariots of today

Fighting with words against
Judas Iscariots of today

Shamim Masih

ISLAMABAD: Few days back, I saw tent outside the National Press Club, Islamabad, there a Christian couple with children has converted to Islam and was looking for financial help. The newly converted Muslim family has posted a written request that asked help from President of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Chief Justice of Pakistan and Malik Riaz (a real estate tycoon). This is not the first time that such incident happened, earlier many families have displaced the same banners and many of my colleagues are witness to it.

Though the data is not available but I guess around 95% Pakistani Christians are living under below poverty line rather situation much worse in remote areas as Christians are living in bounded slavery. Long ago before Indo-Pak partition when missionaries came here and preached Christianity, majority from poor class converted to Christianity certainly it happened due to the love and economic support by the missionaries. Missionaries established educational institutions and health care centers in this region. When Pakistan came into being in 1947, history is witness to it that there were some Christians sitting on the top most positions in different sectors. But as soon as the real ideology was grabbed by Liaqat Ali Khan after the death of founder of the nation Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Pakistan become Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1956. On 12 March, 1949, the second constituent assembly of Pakistan passed the objective resolution which was proposed by the first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, proclaimed that the future constitution of Pakistan would not be modeled entirely on a European pattern, but on the ideology and democratic faith of Islam. The promulgation of constitution in 1956 lead to Pakistan declaring itself Islamic Republic (official name) with the adoption of parliamentary democratic system of government. Resignation letter of Jogendra Nath Mandal in October 1950 clearly showed the hypocrisy of the Muslim leadership.

Missionaries established educational institutions to educate children from the lower class and hospitals for public care but after their mass exodus of missionaries from Pakistan, sitting Christian leadership didn’t follow the same rules. Later when Zulifqar Ali Bhutto became the prime minister of Pakistan, he nationalized Christian institutions thus this chapter was closed. Since then neither clergy nor political leadership ever planned for the economic development of the Christians. Instead clergy remain busy in selling church properties and political leadership remains disloyal with the community. In the first week of November 2015, in the village of Punjab province, chack number 228, (around 50 km away from the Faisalabad) eight years old Christian girl was beaten and locked in her school washroom by her head teacher for daring to use toilet meant for Muslim girls only. In the recent few weeks dozens of Christian girls were kidnapped/rapped and forced to conversion. Head teacher in a village 30 kilometer away from Punjab capital was brutally beaten up due to his faith by his subordinate. Still Pakistani leadership says that there is no discrimination and minorities are enjoying full rights in Pakistan. This is all due to the poor performance of the Christian leadership; and Pakistani Christians are still facing many problems. But clergy is busy in making money.

Secondly since government of Pakistan has adopted joint electoral system for minorities of the country. Local community is divided into different groups, divide and rule policy adopted. PML-N present ruling party, in Punjab has not been able to provide protection to Christians instead the rulers’ attitude towards Christian is discriminatory. Since twin churches bomb blast in Youhanabad, many Christians are still in prisons. Dozens of the families are suffering due to the arrests of the family heads. Though the government has not been able to prove its allegations against them, but inmates and their families are suffering. In this incident, one Christian parliamentarian has reportedly betrayed with the community and had shown his loyalty with his party. The same has been happing for the last decade.
Christians of Pakistan need better leadership and unity at the local level. There are people with potential to do something but they don’t have resources. But there are people, with no vision but resources, they are wasting them and have set their priorities. Education, economic uplift programs need to adopted. And to discourage the hypocrites and self centered personals.

There are also some so called leaders among Pakistani Christians, they mislead the world and present cool and calm situation in Pakistan for Pakistani Christians. Most recently one religious leader and so calledpolitical leader has attended and present a report and denied any oppression or persecution of religious minorities by government and local people. This type of people are betrayers and have sold our nation, they do not want anyone to expose them. These are Judas Iscariots of today and we need to stand against them. But I believe that youngsters of nation have realized and will reject them and will stand with truth and right.  

European Union has taken in millions refugees from Syria, Egypt and other countries of Middle East. Now extremists among those refugees are reportedly involved in creating disturbance in EU and UK. EU and UNHCR are very open about refugees from Middle East. But these EU countries always discourage Pakistani Christians. And taking measures against Christian asylum seekers from Pakistan. As Pakistani Christian, I urge Pakistani Christians to stand together and join hands together against the crooked and self centered so called leadership. 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

EU care for Pakistani Christians

EU care for Pakistani Christians
Shamim Masih
ISLAMABAD: European Parliament delegation urged Pakistan to bring reforms in blasphemy law and ensure the safety of the minority rights in Pakistan. European parliamentarian are aware and care for Pakistani Christians, said Peter Van Dalen, a lead delegate.
Peter Van Dalen speaking at H-9
According to the details European Parliament mission led by Mr. Peter van Dalen (Netherlands), Mr. Arne Gericke (Germany) and Mr. Marek Jurek (Poland) visited Pakistan between 2 -5 November, 2015. The mission aims at a fact finding on blasphemy laws in Pakistan and their application. The delegation met high interlocutors from the government and representative of the civil society. During the meeting with advisor to the Prime Minister Sartaj Aziz, EU delegation demanded to carry out thorough review of the blasphemy law and its current application, in particular section 295-B & C of the penal code.  
Peter Van Dalen, a lead delegate said that EU believes that there is now momentum for Pakistan to start closing the dark chapt
EU delegation group photo after the meeting at EU
er of its blasphemy legislation. By doing so, Pakistan would apply its founding principles, as well as its international obligations under for example the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the conditions attached to GSP+ trade benefits granted by the EU.
The EU parliament delegation has handed over the handout to the high officials including Sartaj Aziz and other high officials and demanded the safety of the minority rights. It said “the legislation which is supposed to protect and safeguard instead has drenched large parts of Pakistan’s society in fear. During the recent decade the security situation has gone to worse in Pakistan. Especially minorities of the country feel insecure in Pakistan thus Pakistan stands in the top ten source countries of people seeking asylum in the EU.” The EU parliamentarian said that the blasphemy law direct or indirectly affect them as well.
visit to H-9
Later the delegation visited H-9 slum area and met with displaced people of Rimsha case (a Christian minor girl accused of blasphemy in Islamabad). The delegation ensured the slum settlers that EU will support the slums of the capital as well the people persecuting in Pakistan.  Peter Van Dalen also prayed for the safety of community and better future. 

Visit to H-9
 The sources confirm that the delegation visited Youhanabad and met with the victims of the incident. The Punjab government has arrested many Christians after the twin church blast in Youhanabad accusing them lynching of the two suspects involved in bomb blasts. Joseph Francis, Director CLAAS briefed them the present situation of the case and also shared his concern in this regard. The EU delegation showed his greater sympathy to the victims and effectees of the incident. Later the delegation met with Asia Bibi’s family in Lahore. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Khana Dak

Shamim Masih
view of the Christian Colony across Korang Nala

Islamabad: Christians of Khana Dak celebrated Independence Day across the Korang Nala, where, they have no access to road. The local government has turned cold face towards this community. Residents raised small funds, which awfully short of the total budget. On 69th Independence Day celebration of Pakistan, I was invited to join the celebration at Khana Dak, (a Christian colony with more than 70 houses). There, Rah-e-Nijat Ministry arranged singing and debate competition for young church members, with the local priest. We drove through the pasture. The event was good and we all enjoyed, at the end youngsters were encouraged distributing shields to the winners.
Resident crossing over the wall of colony
But I noticed the disheveled existence of the local community in the area. This community lives across the Korang Nala, or Korang River, (Korang River is the outlet stream of Rawal Dame. This stream crosses Islamabad Express Highway from Korang Town and Judicial Colony). This river strikes this colony every year and destroys what meager housing the poor have which includes the elimination of food supplies, crops, and form animals. The recent and last year, I met with victims of the massive deluge but these Christians received no help from the authorities. They have been affected by the flood every year and yet no disaster recovery plan or infrastructure has been put in place to enhance their safety or security. Another difficulty they face that owner of the nearby colony (Qutbal Town) have banned their way to road. Last year, when there was a flood all around but there is no passage to this colony.  
Add caption
This year, the residents have been able to negotiate with the owner of the town and got the passage towards the road side. But there is a problem to construct the bridge on the Korang Nala. The local government should construct a bridge on the nala but Capital Development Authority (CDA) does not fulfill its responsibility. The families have been working together to arrange funds. In the meantime, they raised funds for two big pipes. But this is woefully short of the level they need. There is urgent call to support for the downtrodden families.
During the last year, when government agencies and charities have set up temporary shelter in the forms of tents and providing food, clean water and medical aid in the flood affected areas, poor Christians of this area as well as layyah, Sharoon Colony and Gilgit were overlooked and forgotten. Christian communities have survived quite miraculously and remain unscathed. Victims had lost most of their possessions which had been washed away with their homes or irretrievably ruined by water damage and bruising carriage via the water surge.
Presently, Rah-e-Nijat Ministry® is raising funds for the construction of the bridge; sources said that the total cost of the project is more than 2.5 million Pak rupees. Please help them by giving financially, that they might continue the work. I hope hearts are stirred to offer help to these victims, as I believe one day we all have to answer to our maker.

For donation and any further you can contact to Shamim at, or Safdar Saleem at:

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Joao Paulo Sabido Costa, Charge’d Affairs En Pied, Portugal

An interview with His Excellency 
Joao Paulo Sabido Costa, 
Charge’d Affairs En Pied, Portugal

Shamim Masih

Shamim Masih with Joao Pualo Sabido Coasta
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Portugal has good relations in textiles sector, but we should focus on diversifying our cooperation to achieve mutually beneficial results. During the interview he said that Portugal is quite strong in high technology and exporting high value technology products. Pakistan should also enhance collaboration with Portugal to manufacture and export value added technological products. Portugal is famous tourism destination and Pakistan should benefit from its experience to promote its tourism industry.
Pakistan and Portugal need to take new initiatives to improve bilateral trade as the current volume of two- way trade is far below their true potential.
He said to top all untapped areas of cooperation; both countries should encourage frequent exchange of trade delegation and facilitate private sectors in making direct contracts. Talking about the renewable energy, Joao Paulo Sabido Casta told that Portugal is one of the leading wind energy producers and generating more than 61.7 percent electricity through renewable energy sources while Pakistan should focus on enhancing cooperation with in energy sector to overcome its energy problems.
There are possibilities for enhancing bilateral trade and economic relation between Pakistan and Portugal. Talking about GSP Plus status to by the EU, Portugal Ambassador said Portugal focus on enhancing import of Pakistani textiles, garments and leather products and will help Pakistan in getting easy market access to EU markets.
He said Pakistan has improved a lot in security situation and after the long war against terrorism, Pakistan offered great incentives to foreign investors with profitable returns on investments in different sectors of its economy including energy, infrastructure development and many other areas. Joao Paulo Sabido Casta appreciated the present government initiatives and said that sitting government determined to initiate many development projects and Portugal investors will come to Pakistan in maximum number to explore business and investment opportunities.
We are looking for to develop our relations in all areas not only traditional but political, cultural and economic. I am going to start to meet people from different walks of life, members of chamber of commerce, political and members from civil society. He said that his priority is to see the business people to develop trade relation with Pakistan. We plan to develop relation in exchange delegation with Pakistan. Portugal embassy is working with Brazil embassy to teach protégées language in the country.
Talking about the security situation in Pakistan, he said that I feel safe here in the capital. For the recent years, security situation has improved much and visitors feel comfortable now. Portugal incharge’d affairs said that if the security situation is good, foreign investors will take interest in Pakistan. Pakistani’s are good in sports, so Pakistan and Portugal can develop relation in games as well. 

Friday, 11 September 2015

Christian flock is abandoned

Christian flock is abandoned

ISLAMABAD: There is news of Muslim mass immigration to Europe, America, Britain and other countries. The Germany, America and Britain offered a big number of them in their countries. Even the Pope Francis called on Sunday that every European church parish and religious community to take in one refugee family in a gesture of solidarity, which he said would start in the tiny Vatican state where he lives.
It sounds good that Christian majority count
ries are offering mass immigration on humanity bases to Muslim migrants due to the cruelty by their own Muslim fellows. Thousands of the Syrian Muslims are travelling to Europe and the States. War has forced half of Syrians from their homes. The long insurgency in the country has been worsened by a sense of deprivation among the locals, and an inclusive political system is unable to achieve sustainable peace and stability. “Wars, conflict and persecution have forced more people than at any other time since records began to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere,” the United Nations said in June.
But one should think before offering them a space, does EU will remain the same after these immigrants. With different culture, different approach/mind set and religion. If top ISIS leader remove his beard and come with this flock as immigrant with the same mind set, what will EU do? There are reports that Muslims immigrants denied taking food boxes printed “cross” sign on it. And one must think about it, are they refugees or this is invasion. This influx of migrants can pose a threat to Europe’s Christian universal values. And this has already proved and West is presently facing threat as well. As again now they are entering with cries of “Allahu Akbar.” They want to take over.”
Gulf States such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain have been criticized for resettling no Syrian refugees despite similarities of language, religion and culture. Saudi official says they are deliberately ignoring refugees, to allow the spread of Islam to flood the West. “We are ignoring the issue as a strategic maneuver. If these refugees go and settle in the West then they will take the beacon of light i-e Islam, with them,” an official from the Saudi government said.
We have also seen a criticism on this immigration; even a Hungarian Bishop has said that Pop Francis is wrong on the migrant crisis and the wave of Muslim migrants currently sweeping Europe actually represents an “invasion”. Bishop: ‘Pope Francis is wrong, Migrants are Invasion’ Breitbart, September 8, 2015. Yet it is said “the frustration for those of us who have been calling for compassion for Syrian victims for many months is that the Christian community is yet again left at the bottom of the heap… Britain should make Syrian Christian a priority….”
US President Obama directs administration to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year. US didn’t do it when people from Sudan and Congo where Christian were displaced after the Islamists massacred 5 million of them and displaced hundreds of thousands. Why are now feeling compelled to do it with Muslims from the Middle East? Is it because they more valuable human being in the eyes of President Obama than the Christians from Sudan and Congo? Does it mean that Obama is having the same family background?
Being a Christian and a journalist by profession, I have solidarity with victims of migration to but we Pakistani Christians have been facing discrimination and been persecuted from decades but neither EU nor US stand for us. We are also been ignored by local and international media as well. Thus I can say Pakistani Christians are being internationally discriminated. Most recently, there are reports that more than 200 Pakistani Christians including women and children were arrested in Thailand by Thai police. Thousands of Pakistani are seeking asylum in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Malaysia but international community is not paying head to them. Other then the major incidents happened and discriminatory laws, we face discrimination on daily bases.
Europe and American simply denies visa to Pakistani Christians on the basis of religion fearing that he/she might go for asylum there. Sources confirmed that visa counselors are simply instructed to do so. Australia, Canada and many other countries have granted immigration to thousands of Afghan and Hazara people in the recent years. But Christians are rejected when they are also facing the same situation in Pakistan. Why?     

Another Christian is booked to face blasphemy charges

Another Christian booked to face blasphemy charges
Shamim Masih
ISLAMABAD: Another Christian booked in blasphemy case in the capital. According to the details, on December 07, 2014, FIR was registered against 11 people accusing blasphemy including three females and a pastor. Naseem Bibi, reportedly married to Muslim guy and converted to Islam in 1995, and had three children. She complained that Pastor Karamat Masih 45, Shafique Masih nick name Noora 32, Yousaf Masih 60, Parveen Bibi (widow), Bavi Bibi, Nasreen Bibi wife of Yousaf Masih, Shahid Masih 35, Parveez Masih, Tariq Matto, Nabeela Bibi, and Judge Masih went to her home and attacked her. A report said that more than 50 people attacked her house and gave insulted remarks about Islam. She reported that they also insulted Quran. Thus a First Investigation Report – FIR 888/14 was registered against 11 nominated and few unknown people under PP 295-B, 354, 452, 148, 149 in PS Margalla, Islamabad. Four of them, Yousaf, Shafique, Shahid and Tariq were sent to prison and later released on bail.
Few days back she reportedly submitted an application in the police station that one of the unknown people is identified as Imran Manwar should be included in FIR and be investigated under the blasphemy act. She also claimed that said guy repeatedly used bad language against Islam and provoke other people insulting Islam.    
The said FIR was registered in response of the FIR No. 887/14 under PP 506, 341, 148 and 149 against the same lady, when she reportedly attacked on few of the these people. Earlier the same lady had accused 7 Christians of the slums murdering her husband. But the court ordered to release the accused after few years and discharged the case declaring them innocent. The outskirt of the capital is under threat to be demolished.
During the recent months, Christian slum settlers are warned to clear the area under the umbrella of taking strict security measures.