Here is an email received from brother Xavier Williams (sic):
"The President "Life for All" Mr. Rizwan Paul presented the petitions to the President of Pakistan - Mr. Asif Ali Zardari for repelling the Blasphemy Law immediately so that the lives and the property of the Christians in Pakistan can be saved. The law has been used as a tool against the Christians and countless lives have been lost due to this heinous power.
Mr. Rizwan Paul also demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits who are responsible for the deaths of the innocent Christians so that incidents like Shanti Nagar, Gojra and Kasur be avoided.
The second petition was for the pardon for over 250 Christians who have been falsely accused of Blasphemy and are in different jails in Pakistan under Section 295 B/C. And around 3000 Christians falsely accused of minor crimes.
The President has said that he will review the petitions and will respond accordingly in next few days."
A reader of this blog (not Xavier) has intimated (in a personal email) that all this political manoeuvring seems futile and worthless and that we should coordinate all our energies into a charitable project for inflicted areas. I disagree, although I agree that charitable capacity building and restoration work is needed and should be a priority - there is also a distinct need to alter things politically. We must use every tool before us to resolve the crises. The same commentator also stated that he had personally seen the disaster in a visit to Pakistan and that the visit made the situation real to him. I understand how such activity can cause a cathartic response releasing the pent up frustrations our community has for such persecution of our people. However, could not this money have been utilised more usefully by giving it to the major disaster organisations already working in Pakistan?
My epiphany occurred after I saw the professionally designed BBC images of the destruction, read the accounts from local people and went to the protest marches and proudly recognised our community was galvanising. We need to keep up this impetus and I implore readers to approach international governments, the European Commission the UN and other bodies for peace to be restored in an increasingly intolerant Pakistan.