CSF: Pak Government Must Announce Relief & Rehab

September 26, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

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Joseph DiasThe Catholic Secular Forum (CSF), the Mumbai based activist community organization has urged the Pakistani High Commissioner, Mr. Salman Basheer in New Delhi to assist in organizing a delegation of Indian Christians to Peshawar to express solidarity with the victims of the blasts that killed over 80 Christians and others. According to Joseph Dias, the CSF general secretary, ” Christians in Pakistan are the most targeted minority, unlike Hindus, Shias or Sikhs because they are soft targets and get caught in the political and fanatical crossfire. Pakistani Christians are not only targeted by fundamentalists, but also by local Pakistanis under blasphemy laws, with the government not acting effectively against such human rights violations. Hundreds of CSF activists have in an email protest called upon the Pakistan government to punish the fanatics and deal with Islamic terrorism with a firm hand.

Joseph Dias has also called upon the Indian government to take up the case with Pakistan, since many of the Christians are of Indian origin and either migrated or were forced to stay back after 1947 partition and hence, the Indian government cannot absolve its responsibility. The CSF has sent an SOS memorandum to the Indian Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister too. ” The Christian community in Pakistan has contributed in a big way, rendering educational, medical and social services to mainly the Muslim community. The burning of a church and St Paul’s High School in Mardan, near Peshawar proves that the Pakistan government has no control over the fundamentalists. After Friday prayers, we have reports that the homes of two priests and the school’s headmaster were also destroyed. We would not mind taking care of the victims, if the Pakistan and Indian government allows Pakistani Christians to settle here, rather than use them as fodder for the fundamentalists “, Joseph Dias said.

The CSF has called upon the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan to immediately announce monetary dispensation to the next of kin of those dead and adequate compensation to rebuild the burnt down and destroyed institutions. The CSF has called upon the international community and human rights NGOs not to remain silent and take up the issue with the Pakistan government, as there is no guarantee that the situation will not be repeated in the future. ” One finds it difficult to believe that the Pakistan intelligence had no advance clue of genocide to take place on such a large scale. Minorities are at the mercy of the Muslims, with no protection and the world needs to react to this reality. Blasphemy Law must be repealed as it is being misused against the minorities to settle personal disputes, as we have observed. Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian minister in the former government was shot dead only because he was pressing for a reform in Blasphemy Law “, Joseph Dias added.

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