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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Pakistani Christian Congress - All Parties Conference

Here is an article received from Brother Xavier Williams in Pakistan (sic):

Pakistan Christian Congress "All Parties Christian Conference" -Press Club Rawalpindi

The President Pakistan Masihi League Prof. Salamat Akhtar presided over the conference.
The focus of the conference was to maintain peace and harmony in Pakistan and to repeal the Blasphemy Laws ( 295-A, 295-B, and 295-C) The following speakers spoke in the conference:
Mr. Ashiq Bhatti, Chief Organizer, Pakistan Masihi League He explained the working and the objectives of the Pakistan Masihi League, he said we are fighting for the rights of the Christians. He said we have been demanding from past 24 years we have been fighting against the Governments for the Christian Community.

Mr. Yunis Gill, Social Worker
He said I feel sad when the Christians are treated as 3rd grade citizens. He said my hearts cries to see the current condition of the Christians of Pakistan. We have to stand up now, or will we always be treated like aliens. We need to stay firm on the stand that the Blasphemy law should get repelled.

Mr. Rizwan Paul, Chairman, LIFE for All
The young speaker started with enthusiasm. Rizwan Paul said that the Christians have been deprived of their rights for more than 60 years. He demanded that the Government of Pakistan to immediately repel the Blasphemy law which is used as a tactic against the Christians. He demanded that the government should give account of the people responsible for the killings of the Christians in Pakistan . He demanded that the people responsible for the Gojra, Kasur, and Sambrial incidents should be arrested and should go under trial of 295 C so that next time anyone who even thinks of such an act should think twice before committing such atrocities against the Christians. He demanded that such Black laws should get repelled immediately and the minorities should be exempted from such laws. He stressed that the Young Christians should stand up and pressurize the Government to let the Christian community ELECT their leaders rather than getting the puppet selected leaders who are powerless. Rizwan stressed that Education is one of the basic elements which can enable the Youth to think and realize their responsibilities. Quaid-e-Azam said that in Pakistan every citizen will be Equal and will have the right for go to their worship places and will be treated equally. He explained that "Life for All" is a rising star. We are a group of professionals and intellectuals at a forum united to uplift the community. We are working at the grass root level for education of the Christians and Capacity building.

Mr. Mehboob Sada, Director, Christian Study Center
Stressed that in this era we need to work wisely and responsibly. We should not let our emotions take over our minds. We need to promote harmony and Unity, only we can fight for our rights. We need to educate the youth so that they get equipped to face the world. Acting responsibly is more important than acting emotionally. He said I am happy to here today that the Young Christians are very hopeful and are acting responsibly. These are the rising stars and the leaders of tomorrow.

Mr. Ohm Parkash Nyran, Hindu Leader
Thanked Pakistan Christian Congress for inviting a Hindu leader to speak and express himself. He praised Prof. Salamat for his efforts for the Christian Community and said that the Government has deprived all the minorities of their rights. He said Hindus have always been ignored by the Government. He said that we don’t feel safe, we cant express ourselves. He praised the Christian leaders for standing for their rights.

Mr. Rashid, General Secretary , Pakistan Masihi League
Appreciated the efforts made by Prof. Salamat Akhtar who led a movement for getting the representation in National and Provincial Assemblies in 1971-1972. He said that the representation in the Assemblies is not a gift from Bhutto, infact it was earned by the blood shed by the Christians who protested at the Punjab House, Rawalpindi . He said that the same emotions, feelings and sacrifice is required to get the Blasphemy law. Rashid said we are ready to shed our blood for the community.

Dr. Stephen Salem Handed, Chairman , Pakistan Iqliati Rabita Party
Dr. Stephen said that he was a member of the PPP, he requested the Christians to vote for PPP and when they came into the power, they deviated from their words, so he was forced to leave PPP. He said that Bacha Khan, one of the founders of the ANP Party supported the Christians without their request. Bacha Khan always had a soft corner for the minorities and supported them. He said that this is one the qualities of the Pathans that they treat the minorities equally. Only the ANP supports the Christians in the NWFP, this is one of the reasons that the average of the cases of Blasphemy in NWFP are almost nonexistent. He said that it is so unfortunate that the fundamentalists have been the policy makers in Pakistan , the government cannot even say a word to these fundamentalists, he said that these fundamentalists have been making policies since the Bhutto era. Bhutoo, Nawaz Sharif and Mushraff never had the courage to say or stop these fundamentalists from making policies against the Minorites.

Ch. Yunis Joseph, Christian Leader
He thanked Prof. Salamat and Xavier William for organizing a platform for letting the leaders express themselves. He said I am very happy to see young Christians like Rizwan and Xavier who are working day in day out for the community. He said that he was very sad and got aggressive at an article which was published in a news paper "Daily Jung" abusing the sign of the Cross. He said why this writer has not been arrested or punished? He has insulted my Jesus and is roaming free, why? The news paper authorities say that he is a mad person, then why is this mad person working at the news paper? He should be arrested and sent to jail. He said that this person should be arrested under the article 295B.

Mr. Hanukah Bhatti, Christian Leader
He criticized the puppet leaders who are in the assembly; he said that we should never look up to these so called leaders. We should condemn them and stand united and demand the repelling of the Blasphemy law.

Mr. Faisal Anwar, Muslim Leader, Passdar-e-Pakistan
Faisal said I am amazed to see such leaders in the Christian Community present here today. He said Xavier William`s efforts for the community are clearly visible by managing to get these leaders at a platform. I am really impressed by Prof. Salamat, and agrees with all of these leaders that this Blasphemy law should be abolished. He said unfortunately in Pakistan these political parties are a group of family members, a son of a leader who doesn’t even know what politics is leading the party, where as these true leaders who have worked for more than 35 years are never even given the proper respect which they deserve. I am please to see such leaders here today and want to salute them. He said I am a Muslim, but I really want to get this Blasphemy Law repelled. He said that I am with the Christian Community in their efforts.

Mr. Xavier William, Coordinator, Pakistan Christian Congress
Thanked all the leaders for being there and specially thanked Prof. Salamat Akhtar for his guidance and praised his efforts for the community. Prof. Salamat Akhtar is a university and every Young Christian should become his student. Demanded that the President of Pakistan should repel the Blasphemy law and should except the Christians from such laws. I also know that this blasphemy law is always misused, mostly for personal enmity.

Fr. Anwar Patras, All Pakistan Christian Action Committee
Thanked Pakistan Christian Congress for arranging this conference and giving a chance to the Christian leaders to express themselves. He prayed for peace and harmony.
Prof. Salamat Akhtar, President, Pakistan Masihi League
He thanked Mr. Nazir S. Bhatti for selecting Rawalpindi for this conference as due to the sacrifice of the Christians of Rawalpindi we got the representation in the Assemblies. A gentleman is a person who doesn’t harm or hurt others. So we have to become a gentleman
He said that he read a few days back that some shoe manufacturer had written Allah underneath it, but he was not put under trial or arrested. I have been a professor of the History of Islam, I have researched and taught about the Prophet (PBUH) , the Prophet has a great importance, but is Allah important or the Prophet? But there is NO article or punishment in the constitution of Pakistan if you insult Allah in public. So if there is no article about Allah then why for a Prophet? Is this logical? He said I don’t understand this being a Professor of the History of Islam that we have a law for a Prophet but nothing for Allah. He said I have consulted so many lawyers they also are speechless on this, they said that this law which is only for Prophet is not justified. Then why don’t the Government understand this that this Blasphemy law is only a tool in the hands of the fundamentalists. He said I am a Patriotic Pakistani, we need to stand united and save Pakistan . If Pakistan will exist then we Christians and Muslims will exist.
I demand the President of Pakistan to immediately repel the Blasphemy law.
I also ask these politicians bring their money and bank accounts in Pakistan , and then we will not have any need to beg other Countries or the IMF for donations and loans. Then he presented his poetry and ended.




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