ARTICLES

In one of the more unfortunate developments attending the catastrophic floods in Pakistan, the country’s religious minorities are being denied relief and aid. The government and local clerics refused to shelter around 500 flood-affected families belonging to the Ahmadiya community in South Punjab’s relief camps. Not only that, the government also did not send relief goods to the flood-hit areas belonging to the Ahmadiya community like the Punjab districts of Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur.

Nearly 14 million people have been affected by the flooding. Nearly all the all dams in the country have overflowed. Now the waters have reached the center of Pakistan with its large plains, where in contrast to the mountainous north, the water drains very slowly. The people most at risk are mainly women and children and the government seems unable to resolve the situation. Mosques and churches are open to shelter the victims of the floods and in contrast, hardly any state building has opened its doors to the victims. This is perhaps because the authorities fear that doing so would mean being able to ensure a long supply of medicines and food and they know that they would be unable to do so.

Fr. Emmanuel Asi, President of the Lahore Biblical Theological Institute

Christians in Pakistan’s flood-hit regions are doubly affected by the disaster as a result of anti-Christian discrimination by government relief workers and Muslim aid agencies, according to representatives of the embattled minority. They are urging Christians to send assistance to organizations that will help stricken Christians.

August 25, 2010, Faisalabad, Pakistan:

Pakistani authorities recovered the bodies of three Christian relief workers at about 7 a.m. on August 25, 2010. The relief workers had been working in Mingora and the surrounding areas when they were kidnapped on August 23, while they were returning to their base at around 5:35 p.m. A group of Taliban had attacked their vehicle and injured around five-six people and kidnapped them amd later killed them mercilessly.

November 23, 2010, Nankana Sahib, Pakistan:

Nankana: Sikh and Hindu pilgrims, who came here from various countries across the world to participate in the 541st birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Jee were looted of passports, cash and other valuables in several separate incidents.

November 18, 2010, Islamabad, Pakistan:

Another Ahmadiyya mosque attacked in Lahore: Armed assailants opened fire at an Ahmadiyya mosque in Lahore, the Punjab capital. The mosque had no police protection despite a May 28 attack on two Ahmadiyya mosques in the city that killed 94 people and injured well over a hundred. The November 18 attack did not result in further loss of life only because of private security provided by the mosque management. The police only made arrests when the mosque authorities provided security camera footage identifying the attackers. Provincial law enforcement authorities need to put aside their prejudices and protect religious minorities who are clearly in serious danger from both the Taliban and sectarian militant groups historically supported by the state.

November 18, 2010, Islamabad, Pakistan:

Man gunned down eight days after being granted bail in blasphemy case: 22-year-old Latif Masih died after two men with pistols shot him to death near his home on November 18, 2010, in Punjab Province, shortly after the victim was granted bail in a “blasphemy” case. Police suspect two Muslim extremists had shot the Christian to death. Masih, a member of the United Presbyterian Church, was accused of burning pages of the Quran and had spent five months in jail. Junaid Masih, the victim’s brother, said Latif Masih was innocent of the blasphemy charge. He said that Ahmed had filed the charge because he was trying to take possession of his brother’s shop. Human rights activists condemned the incident as another example of the havoc caused by the blasphemy laws.

November 12, 2010, Mehmoodabad, Pakistan:

Four family members shot dead because of their Christian faith: 42-year-old schoolteacher, Shahista Iqbal Gill said she and her husband Javed Iqbal Gill moved to the area from Toba Tek Singh six months ago with their four children and sister-in-law Gulshan, renting a house in Mehmoodabad colony close to Government Islamia High School and attending the Pentecostal King of Kings Church in Multan. Shahista Iqbal Gill said that she began receiving threats that they must leave the area as no non-Muslims were allowed to live there. Neighbor Aamir Ali described what he witnessed saying that he had heard gunshots, screaming and yelling in the early morning. As he came out, 8 to 10 masked men wearing green turbans had escaped in two vehicles.

November 8, 2010, Lahore, Pakistan:

Christian woman sentenced to death by hanging in Pakistan ‘for blasphemy’: A Christian woman has been sentenced to hang in Pakistan after being convicted of defaming the Prophet Mohammed. Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother-of-five, denies blasphemy and told investigators that she was being persecuted for her faith in a country where Christians face routine harassment and discrimination.

October 25, 2010, Islamabad, Pakistan:

Sufi shrine targeted: Religious institutions are on high alert after a deadly attack at the Baba Farid shrine in Pakpattan, in the eastern province of Punjab, where explosives hidden in milk canisters attached to a motorcycle killed seven people and injured 14. The explosion also damaged the shrine of the Sufi Saint Fareed Shakar Ganj. The blast at the Farid Shakar Ganj shrine is the latest in a string of attacks targeting Sufi shrines in Pakistan. Islamist militants often target Sufis, whose mystical practices clash with their interpretation of Islam.

The first attack was on the Data Darbar shrine in Lahore in July 2010 and the more recent attack earlier in October 2010 was of the a shrine in Karachi.

September 3, 2010, Mardan, Pakistan:

Ahmadi mosque attacked: In the district of Mardan in Pakistan’s northwest, a suicide bomber detonated outside a Ahmadi mosque in the town of Muslimabad Canal. The suicide bomber was armed with an assault rifle and attempted to enter the mosque to kill the worshipers, but was stopped by security guards. One person was killed and four more were wounded in the attack.

September 3, 2010, Quetta, Pakistan:

Bomb attack on Shia Muslim procession: At least 43 people have been killed in suicide bombings targeting religious minorities in Pakistan. The explosion took place in the south-western city of Quetta at a Shia Muslim procession calling for solidarity with Palestinian people. 78 people were also wounded in the attack, some of whom are in critical condition. Quetta police said that six or seven of the dead appeared to have fatal bullet wounds, and said they may have been killed by participants in the procession who opened fire wildly after the attack. The attack in Quetta was the second in the same week on Pakistan’s Shiite Muslims, who by some estimates comprise about 20 per cent of the population in the mostly Sunni country,

September 1, 2010, Lahore, Pakistan:

Triple suicide attack killed 35 people at a Shiite ceremony in Lahore.: Shi’ite Muslims gathered in the eastern city of Lahore to mourn the victims of a triple suicide bombing that ripped through the city on September 1st. Two of the bombers struck Shi’ite worshippers as they were dispersing after a procession. The third bomber attacked a group clustered in a square. In all, 31 people were killed and more than 200 injured, sparking violent protests against the police for failing to protect them. The bombings came just hours after assailants opened fire on a procession of Shi’ites in the southern port city of Karachi, injuring seven people.

Quetta Attack on Shia Muslim procession – September 3, 2010

August 18, 2010, Karachi, Pakistan:

Ahmadi American citizen killed: Peer Habib-ur-Rehman, a U.S. citizen who was visiting Pakistan on business, was slain after masked men stopped him on the way to his farm in the town of Sanghar in Sindh and shot him twice in the head.

August 17, 2010, Karachi, Pakistan:

Ahmadi Assistant Professor of Science target killed: Assistant Professor of Science at Karachi’s Dow University, Dr Najam al-Hasan, is brutally murdered in a religiously motivated attack. A well-known member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Dr Najam al-Hasan, was shot dead just as he entered his car after closing his clinic, by a group of assailants. Dr Najam al-Hasan becomes the second member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to be killed in Karachi this year because of his religion.

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