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.  
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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.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Petulant PML-N will raze the slums in the capital

Petulant PML-N will raze the slums in the capital
Shamim Masih
ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party in Pakistan 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 Capital Development Authority (CDA) plans to demolish 41 slums in different sectors of the capital though few katchi abadis were regularized with no development by the CDA though promised. CDA informed the Supreme Court 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.
Although a petition was moved in the SC, seeking that the state is bound to provide the evicted people shelter and other amenities under the constitution. On the other hand, the civic agency submitted a report stated that the plan to demolish the slum settlements had been approved by the interior ministry. The apex court sounds silent, besides, in February 2014 the Islamabad High Court had also issued directions in this regard. 
Most of the people in these slum areas are Christians, and have been living for more than three decades. They are constantly living under threat though 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.
Mostly living across the seasonal drainages (Nalaas) and always 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.
If the CDA starts its operation against the slums, it will leave hundred thousand Christians homeless in the first phase only. Christian Colony Sector G-6/1-4, Musharraf Colony G-8/4, Miskeen Colony G-8/4, Shopper Colony G-7 Markaz, and Sector H-9 are thick populated areas. Thus the operation will ruin more than half million Christians population on the ground.  
Note: - I have been working tirelessly to raise voice and to help end injustice for the Christians in Pakistan. But certainly with the limited resources can’t do it on regular basis. If you feel, please support this cause that I might continue to write for Pakistani Christian. I shed tears when I heard the story of this repeating plight and hope others are moved by the tragic lifestyle these families face daily.