Arshed Masih died last night in hospital from serious trauma a result of the burns covering 80% of his body. The 38 year old Pakistani Christian wenet through extreme pain when he was set on fire after refusing to convert to Islam.
The funeral Arshad who died after a prolonged three days of agony, should take place sometime this afternoon. The family have asked that an autopsy is performed on the body of Arshad befire burial. The Christian Community of Pakistan in the voices of its largest institutions has condemned the latest episode of violence. Plans are afoot to organise a protest and it is reported than many lead voices have denounced the "lethargy" of the federal and provincial government to punish those responsible.
It has been reported that On March 19 a group of Islamic extremists burned alive Arshed Masih, a driver employed by a wealthy Muslim businessman in Rawalpindi. His wife worked as a maid in the same estate, situated in front of a police station. Recently disagreements had arisen between the employer, Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, and the couple because of their Christian faith. Reports from the ground state the couple had suffered threats and intimidation to force them to convert to Islam.
Arshed Masih (pictured) died last night at 07.45 local time. Somehow through the pain an trauma Arshad survived three days of agony. Arshad was being cared for at the Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi, Punjab province. It is alleged that his wife Martha Arshed was raped by police after she sought to denounce the violence inflicted on her husband. It has also been reported that the couple's three children - ages 7 to 12 years - were forced to witness the torture inflicted on their parents.
Since 2005 Arshed Masih and his wife had worked and lived on the estate of the late Sheikh Mohammad Sultan. The pressure on them to renounce Christianity had purtotedly become incessant. some reports state that the owner had come so far as to threaten "dire consequences", to persuade them to embrace Islam. It has also been noted that the couple were accused of a recent theft by the owner - who promised to drop the complaint if they would convert to Islam.
The site BosNewsLife.com adds that yesterday the provincial government of Punjab blocked a protest march of Christians, under the pretext of "terrorist threat". The local community wanted to demonstrate against the "refusal" of the police to arrest the perpetrators of the crime.
Pakistan Christian Post said: