ARTICLES

August 2016

DIRE STATUS OF PAKISTAN’S HINDU COMMUNITY

Hindus are officially recognized as Jati and Scheduled Caste (SC) and constitute around 2% of Pakistan’s overall population.  The majority of Hindus in Pakistan are concentrated in the Sindh province. At the time of the [...]

July 2016

THE LEGALIZED DISCRIMINATION OF AHMADIYYAS IN PAKISTAN

Founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Ahmadiyya community is a religious group which deems itself to be Muslim. Ahmadiyyas differ from other Muslims over the definition of Prophet Mohammad being the final monotheist [...]

June 2016

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION IN PAKISTAN

According to the Article 2 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, “Islam shall be the state religion of Pakistan”. This article directly or indirectly shows that Pakistan is a religious state and [...]

Pakistan is one of 13 countries named by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom as a place where violence against religious minorities is common as it is condoned or supported by the government. Some of the documented violence includes rape victims being charged and jailed for adultery, women being murdered for refusing to quit their jobs, and public beheading of critics of terrorist elements.

Seven people were killed and 20 injured on August 1, 2009 when Muslim demonstrators set fire to houses in a Christian enclave.

‘The year 2009 has seen the largely unchecked growth in the power and reach of religiously-motivated extremist groups whose members are engaged in violence in Pakistan and abroad, with Pakistani authorities ceding effective control to armed insurgents espousing a radical Islam ideology’, the Annual Report 2009 of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom stated. The report said Pakistan was one of 13 ‘countries of particular concern’ (CPC) because of ongoing religiously motivated violence that targets minorities. ‘Since 2002, our commission has recommended that Pakistan be named a CPC in light of a whole range of serious religious freedom concerns,’ said Elizabeth Prodromou, vice-chairwoman of the commission. Between 1988 and 2005, Pakistani authorities charged 647 people with offences under the blasphemy laws. Fifty percent of the people charged were non-Muslim. Twenty of those charged were murdered soon after the charge was laid.

July 21, 2010, Faisalabad, Pakistan:

Two Pakistani Christians, Rashid Emmanuel and his brother, Sajid Emmanuel, who were acquitted of blasphemy charges were murdered on July 19 as they left the courthouse. Five armed, masked men attacked and opened fire on the two accused. They shot Sajid Emmanuel in the heart, killing him instantly, and also shot Rashid Emmanuel in the chest. Sub-Inspector Zafar Hussein was also shot trying to protect the suspects. CLF President Khalid Gill said the bodies of the two Christians bore cuts and other signs of having been tortured, including marks on their faces, while the brothers were in police custody. At least ten people were reportedly injured as stone-throwing and rioting broke out in a Christian neighbourhood of the city after the shootings.

July 21, 2010, Farooqabad, Pakistan:

In Farooqabad, Shiekhupura district, three Muslim co-workers of a Christian man Ghafoor Masih of Kot Sandha village, raped his 16-year-old daughter at gunpoint on the night of July 21. On July 22. 2010 in Gujar Khan, Rawalpindi district, more than a half dozen students of Jamia Islamia Madrassa decided to “teach these Christians a lesson” by allegedly gang-raping a 12-year-old Christian girl.

July 8, 2010, Toba Tek Singh, Pakistan:

Recently, the Punjab government decided to offer a free meal service called “dastar Khwan” for the poor, inviting entrepreneurs and philanthropists of every state to finance the project, built largely with public money. The authorities have opened canteens in different areas and villages in the province where every day from 13.00 to 15:00 lunch is served for poor people at a very low cost. The initiative was a success all over the Punjab, but not in the district of Toba Tek Singh where many Christians were prevented from buying the meal token. The organizers of the kiosks discriminate against Christians and claim that the canteen is only for Muslims.

June 26, 2010, Toba Tek Singh, Pakistan:

Growing Trend of Suicide among Christian women in Pakistan: Terrorism, extreme poverty, price hike, unemployment and many other social and economic problems have been affecting people of all sections of life, especially religious minorities in Pakistan. Razia Bibi 38 has five children, three boys and two daughters aged three to nine years. Ajmal Masih, her husband drives a rickshaw. Razia has been working as a domestic worker in a rich family to meet the both ends meet of the family. On June 26, 2010 evening, Razia Bibi ate poisonous tablets and gave some to her children too. She died on the spot, however, the children were saved.

On Friday 25, 2010, a Christian nurse in Lahore injected poison into her four children who died on the spot. She injected herself also but was saved in hospital. Her husband is a police constable.

June 20, 2010, Islamabad, Pakistan:

Muslim Mob Kills Wife, Children of Christian in Pakistan: Jamshed Masih had recently moved to Mustafa Colony in Jhelum with his wife, two sons and two daughters. Masih said that a Muslim neighbor, Ali Murtaza, told him that the Muslims of the locality had notified the religious leader Maulana Mahfooz Khan that they could not allow these non-Muslims to live there as they would be a bad influence on their children. A mob led by the Muslim religious leader Maulana Mahfooz Khan killed his family on June 21 after Khan had called Masih to the local mosque and told him to leave the predominantly Muslim colony.

Islamist gunmen and a suicide squad lobbed grenades, sprayed bullets from atop a minaret and took hostages Friday in attacks on two mosques packed with worshippers from a minority sect in Pakistan. At least 80 people were killed and dozens wounded.

May 28, 2010, Lahore, Pakistan:

Gunmen launched simultaneous attacks on two mosques of the minority Ahmadi Islamic sect in Lahore, killing more than 80 people and wounding scores of worshippers. The attackers fired guns and threw grenades at worshippers during Friday prayers. Three militants later blew themselves up with suicide vests.

The attack is being documented as the most organized and vicious assault of Ahmadiyya followers ever in the country. Geo TV in Pakistan reported that Punjab branch of the Pakistani Taliban were claiming responsibility for the gruesome attacks. The Punjab branch is primarily composed of formerly state-sponsered sectarian groups including Lashkar-e-Jangvi and Jaish-e-Mohammed, which have joined forces with the Taliban.

May 19, 2010, Islamabad, Pakistan:

Kidnapping and forced conversion of Christian and Hindu girls is on the rise in Pakistan: A Christian girl, Tina Barkat, now 28, who was kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam has been reunited with her family after three years. Tina was kidnapped by the family of her friend Sobia, who together with her uncle forced her to convert to Islam and marry one of their relatives, Qaiser. Tina tried to escape from the family several times but says it was not until the security around her was relaxed following the birth of her second baby to Qaiser that she was able to escape. She is now with her family and does not wish to return to her Muslim husband. Qaiser’s family have reacted by registering a case against Tina and her family.

May 6, 2010, Lahore, Pakistan:

14-year-old Christian girl accused Muhammad Noman and Muhammad Imran, both 17, of abducting her from her school in Kamboh colony, Lahore, in Punjab Province, on May 6 and drugging her prior to sexually assaulting her. Forensic DNA results of semen samples show they match those of the Muslim boys.

May 1, 2010, Kalat, Pakistan:

Three sisters, aged between 14 and 20 years, were attacked as they walked from Kalat city to Pandarani village. The girls suffered serious burns on their faces and bodies when two men on a motorcycle drove up and threw acid over them. Campaigners say that there may be 150 acid attack victims in Pakistan each year.

The overwhelming majority of the victims of acid attack in Pakistan are women, many below 18 years of age. The victims are attacked for several reasons, mostly to curb their freedom. Several cases relate to educated, successful and independent women whom the intolerant male society is unwilling to accept. Many victims are repotedly from minority communities.

Victim of acid attack in Pakistan.

April 2010, Islamabad, Pakistan:

Pakistani Air Force is running a torture cell at its Air Headquarters where six members of a Christian family were tortured and one of the victims, Sumera lost use of her legs.

14 year-old Sumera Masih serving as a maid in the house of Mr. Faheem Cheema, a Wing Commander in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in Islamabad and her 16 year-old brother were tortured by the Wing Commander and other officers. As a result the girl is now disabled and neither she nor her brother is able to walk properly. A Session Court has helped obtain the victims’ release but has not initiated any judicial process against the officials of the PAF even after finding evidence that the Christian family was tortured and was being detained illegally in the PAF torture cell.

Sumera is produced in the court, carried in the arms of her father.

27 April 2010, Quetta, Pakistan:

An innocent female professor of the Balochistan University was shot down and killed in Quetta, southwest Pakistan. Women who make a mark in Pakistani society despite the curbs on them continue to be targets of cold blooded murder.

23 March 2010, Islamabad, Pakistan:

The 2009 report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) revealed that there was a sharp surge in violence against women and 1,401 women were murdered during 2009. Out of these, 647 were murdered in the name of “honour”, while 757 were killed for other reasons. According to the report, 928 rape cases were reported last year and 563 women committed suicide, while 253 attempted it. It also said 135 women fell victim to burning, while cases of domestic violence, including torture, beating, murder attempts, increased from 137 in 2008 to 205 in 2009.

19 March 2010, Quetta, Pakistan:

A Christian man was fighting for his life in Pakistan’s Punjab province Saturday, March 20, after Muslim leaders backed by police burnt him alive for refusing to convert to Islam, while his wife was raped by police officers. Arshed Masih was burnt Friday, March 19, in front of a police station in the city of Rawalpindi near Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, following apparent death threats from his Muslim employer Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, an influential businessman, and religious leaders. His wife, Martha Arshed, was allegedly raped by police officers. Their three children — ranging in age from 7 to 12– were reportedly forced to witness the attacks against their parents.

March 19, 2010, Rawalpindi, Pakistan:

A Christian man fights for his life in Pakistan’s Punjab province Saturday, March 20, after Muslim leaders backed by police burnt him alive for refusing to convert to Islam, while his wife was raped by police officers.

Arshed Masih was burnt Friday, March 19, in front of a police station in the city of Rawalpindi near Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, following apparent death threats from his Muslim employer Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, an influential businessman, and religious leaders. His wife, Martha Arshed, was allegedly raped by police officers. Their three children, ranging in age from 7 to 12 were reportedly forced to witness the attacks against their parents. Both Masih and wife were rushed to the Holy Family Hospital with about 80 percent of his body burnt.

10 March 2010, Mansehra District of Pakistan:

A World Vision office in Pakistan was attacked by gunmen on Wednesday, March 10, 2010, in the Mansehra District of Pakistan, north of the capital Islamabad, leaving at least six staff members dead. The staff consisted of local Pakistanis who were serving in relief and development work. Up to 15 gunmen arrived in pick-up vehicles and began firing on the staff, according to The Times. World Vision administration officer Mohammad Sajid said the militants took their mobile phones, “dragged people one by one and shifted to an adjacent room and shot and killed them”.

21 February 2010, Peshawar/Islamabad:

Two Sikhs who were kidnapped about a month earlier were beheaded by the Pakistani Taliban in the country’s restive tribal belt in a brutal act by the militants. According to unconfirmed reports, the Taliban had dumped the heads of the two victims at a Gurudwara in Peshawar. After the Sikhs were kidnapped the Taliban had reportedly demanded Rs 30 million as ransom for their release. Two of the kidnapped Sikhs were beheaded after the expiry of the deadline for the payment of the ransom.

5 February 2010, Karachi, Pakistan:

A huge bomb blast tore apart a bus carrying Shiites to a religious procession in Karachi on Friday afternoon, and barely two hours later another lethal explosion struck a Hospital where many of the wounded had been taken. At least 25 people were killed and 100 more were wounded in the two attacks, which seemed to confirm fears that sectarian strife would accompany the annual Shiite religious observation.

21 January 2010:

A 12 year old Christian girl was raped and killed by Muslim Attorney. Shazia had worked as a domestic help in the household of Muhammad Naeem, a lawyer of Lahore High Court. He did not pay Shazia for about 8 months and on January 21, 2010 Shazia’s mother received the dead body of her young daughter.

28 December, 2009:

A suicide bomber killed at least 20 people and wounded more than 80 during a Shiite religious procession. The attacks appeared directed at Shiites observing Ashoura, which commemorates the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, in A.D. 680.

7 October, 2009:

Two gunmen burst into an Ahmadi mosque in Mong, Mandi Bahuddin town, 60 miles south of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. The assailants fired Kalashnikovs at Ahmadis who were offering morning prayers. Eight people were killed and 14 more were injured. The gunmen fled on the motorcycle of a third man, who waited outside.

4 August 2009:

A Muslim mob attacked a factory-owner by the name of Najeebullah and others at Sheikhupura in Punjab province. The mob killed Najeebullah and two others, and set fire to the factory. The mob complained that Najeebullah had placed an outdated calendar, which contained verses from the Quran, on a table. For that offense, a worker accused Najeebullah of blasphemy. The workers may have been in a dispute with Najeebullah over wages.

1 August 2009:

Muslim mob attacked Christians in Gojra, 224 miles from Islamabad, Pakistan. Violence broke out in Gojra village after an alleged incident of desecration of the Holy Quran during a wedding ceremony. The incident triggered two days of terror in which a mob torched a large number of houses, burning seven people alive.

30 July 2009:

Hundreds of members of Sipah-e-Sahaba, a banned Muslim organization, torched Christian homes and killed Christians in the Pakistani city of Gojra and in the nearby village of Korian. The stated reason for the violence was that a Christian had defiled a Quran. Christian mobs retaliated. Fighting between Muslim and Christian groups went on through 1 August 2009.

29 May 2009:

A 54-year-old Ahmadi man from Faisalabad in Pakistan was killed in what appeared to be a targeted assassination. Mian Liaq Ahmad was driving home when he found a car blocking access to the road where he lived. Men jumped from the car and shot Mr Ahmad in the head. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat issued a press release stating: “He becomes the 5th Ahmadi to be martyred in 2009 and the 101st to be killed in Pakistan since anti-Ahmadiyya laws were introduced by the Government of General Zia-ul-Haq in 1984.”

28 January 2009:

The police in Punjab in Pakistan arrested a labourer and four students for blasphemy. All those arrested were Amadhi. The accusation against them was that they wrote “Prophet Mohammed” on the wall of a toilet in a Sunni mosque. The senior superintendent of police investigated and reported to the Ministry of the Interior at the end of March 2009 that the accusation was baseless.

19 January 2009:

A 55-year-old Ahmadi shopkeeper was shot dead in Kotri district, Sindh province. Saeed Ahmed had been returning home from work when he was shot in front of his house. The only reason for his killing, claimed an Ahmadi spokesman, was his faith.

5 December 2008:

Women in Pakistan, especially women who work or go to school, risk being subjected to violence at the hands of men. A grim new type of assault which has become commonplace throughout the region: disfiguring women by dousing their faces with acid.

Naeema Azar, a once-successful real estate agent who sought to divorce her husband.

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