Mouthpiece for all sorts of Voices
By – Shamim Masih
ISLAMABAD: Dr Martine Luther King, Jr. said, in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”. I quote this because many of religious and political leaders are silent after the Youhanabad incident. Many delegates from UNO, Commonwealth, politicians from the west and churches usually visit Pakistan to know the situation of Pakistani Christians. Government representatives and puppets from minority side assure them that everything is going on well. Sorry to say, none has ever tried to meet the real representatives from the community. Thus the situation remains same and there is no hope for the better future.
Pakistani Christians fear repercussion after lynching the two suspects following the terrorist attack on two churches in Youhanabad, Lahore. Sohail Johnson had a relative among the victims of the massacre of Youhanabad, is not an isolated case. His brother is reportedly been arrested from Gujranwala city and associated with Youhanabad case. Joseph Francis, Executive Director CLAAS told in a telephone that he had filed application in the court but police is denying the arrest of Yousaf (brother of Sohail Johnson). Aslam Pervaiz Sahotra is another name in this regard, he was arrested from Islamabad and now been transferred to jail.
It’s very common, the more they profess the Christian religion or defend religious minorities, uncover the persecution incidents, they are being targeted. Gulshan Masih has received multiple death threats from the country’s most brutal sectarian groups who know his home address. He is seeking asylum in Denmark and his application is still in process. He has been a campaigner for Christian minority group. “I fear they can just “arrest” me from the airport, because they have good contacts with the security people as well, who have been infiltrated by the religious extremists, if the application is rejected” Gulshan said in a phone. He is accused of blasphemy case and FIR was registered against him under 295-C. My life is genuinely in danger in the home country, he requested Human Rights Groups to campaign for him and exert meaningful pressure, he added.
Persecution is not simply the killings, but the severe discrimination in many ways, educational opportunities, untouchable status, targeted during employment etc. Many Christian families are arrested in Thailand; those were seeking asylum to other western countries. Hindus, Shia Muslims can escape to the countries where their faith is a majority, but there is no alternative for Christians other than the Christian majority countries.
It is therefore very important for every individual to approach those influential people who can speak to Pakistani government and are in a position to make a difference. The ongoing situation against Christians is inflexible especially for those Christians unnecessary detained in Youhanabad case and seeking asylum in different countries.