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Saturday, 6 February 2010

Message from Pakistan Correspondent Xavier Williams

I received this rather emotional plea from brother Xavier Williams in Pakistan (sic):

Dear Wilson,

I am a human rights activist and am working for highly reputed organizations.

I understand my responsibilities and am always careful not to make any unfounded remarks or statements - choosing to undertake thorough examination of facts. Before sending any report about any case I contact at least 7-9 organizations and also get confirmation from Government officials. I also have close associates in the Pakistani intelligence agencies. I feel it is a duty to ensure that I get my reports confirmed from these responsible resources.

The reports that I have been sending to you regarding Shazia have gone through this detailed sifting process. I don't mean to criticize any organization, I just write you the facts as they area. One of my sources in the Pakistani agencies confirmed with the local police station detaining Mohammad Naeem, that no-one was present from CLAAS at the court?

They confirmed to me that Nasir Anjum was hired by CLAAS, however, he never appeared at the court. Mr Anjum came to the court 3 days ago and tried to talk to the judge about the case. the President of the Lahore High Court Bar talked to Nasir Anjum and told him not to appear in the court against a former member of the Lahore high Court Bar Association. A previous solicitor Akbar Durrani also previously refused to do so.

No one saw Nasir Anjum on the day Mohammad Naeem was presented in the court, my concern is that on the next hearing on Tuesday M. Naeem will get the bail and CLAAS will loose the case.

Such a defeat will not effect CLAAS, but it will be the defeat of the Christian Community in Pakistan!

I want M. Naeem and the lawyers of Lahore High Court Bar to know that they are facing tough opposition. So far the Christian Community has failed to make their point and has shown little Resistance. Grand overtures have been made, but nothing tangible has come of them.

We wanted to unite all the community outside the court to support the lawyer appearing from Shazia`s side. Shamefully, there was no lawyer to support?!

I have talked with community leaders and there is a desire to gather 25000 people to protest outside the court. We believe this will show them that the Christians in Pakistan are not just fodder. We believe in unity that we can see justice done - we need justice!

CLAAS has failed our Christian community in Pakistan. They were the first organization to give statements to the media when this case started - they have never been able to fulfil their promise to present a lawyer on the 3 hearings.

The media has mocked Christian Organizations that were not able to produce a lawyer in the court, this really hurts me!

It is for this reason that I make a plea to wider organizations to get a lawyer on the next hearing so that the media will not mock us again.

We are prepared for the protest on the 3rd April by BPCA. we will make a difference and will show the world on 3rd April that the Christians in Pakistan are united.
After the first report that no solicitor was provided to present the case of Shazia Bashir I felt obliged to investigate:
Here is a response I received from a contact at Christian Solidarity Worldwide:

Hi Wilson,
I have had a reply from NCJP. They had already heard the same news and are "extending an offer to provide a lawyer to people who are in contact." Not sure who they are in touch with but I have mentioned Xavier's name in the hope that there can be some coordination. They may well already be in touch.

Will let you know what comes back.

Xavier sounds like an excellent guy to know and his actions say it all I suppose. And yes the info on your blog always seems really current.

Great to hear you are going out in April.
I am rather concerned that any further failure for a prosecution lawyer to attend court could ruin the whole legal process. With this in mind I am asking for the first time, that our global family contributes to the cost of legal provision. If you are in Canada why not contribute through PCC? If you are in Holland why not contribute through Watson Gill's group? If you are in the UK please send your cheques to the BPCA.

Any contributors and the amount they provide will be listed on our blog (unless anonymity is requested). We will leave the accounts on our blog so that they are open to scrutiny. Accounts will be checked by a qualified accountant. We are not asking for any specific donations - just send whatever you can spare. Our aim is to raise £2000 by Tuesday and any further money will be allocated to the case. Should their be any surplus after the legal case we will use this money to sponsor a Peace monument for the deceased Pervais Masih. Who died saving thousands of Muslim Girls during a recent explosion at an Islamabad College.

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