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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Gujranwala the pain returns!

Just when we thought the moribund police force of Gujranwala was going through a period of improvement, fresh allegations of subversive tactics in preventing justice have been refracted through the eyes of our correspondents in Pakistan.

In another twist in the ongoing saga based on the maltreatment and illegal incarceration of a  young upwardly mobile Christian and his father, has once again, soured perceptions of fairness in Pakistan's much scrutinised society.  

The latest news from Gujranwala is disappointing and mirrors the usual expectations of the bungling police, that are susceptible to bribes and coercion.  This turn of events comes after an initial display of professionalism with no previous comparison in Pakistan. Especially when dealing with a Blasphemy case against Christians....

The most important detail of the current situation is that Neither Farrukh nor his father has been released and their are reports that they have been beaten in Prison.     A Reverend Eric Isaac is also imprisoned after calling for a violent response to the original threats and protests.  Despite the admittance of guilt with regards to the burning of the Quran, Mr Qari Irfan has not been prosecuted under the Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan, but is being held for his involvements in the protests against the Christian community of Gujranwala.

Our commentator believes that their is a significant Muslim lobby calling for the release of Mr Irfan and that terrorist charges are being levied against the unfortunate Rev Eric Isaac.  Charges have been dropped against Farrukh and his father yet their imprisonment has prevailed.  Many local people of all faiths are questioning this unlawful detention.

Our informant in Pakistan spoke candidly of the events unfolding in Gujranwala, he commented;

"We heard that there has been an arrest of qari irfan qadri and he had admitted that he did all this twice. that person has already married a christian women and wants more as his wives.due to this confession of qari and than the beating done by police, the people were looking ashamed and quite, many people said that it was the last time when they'll go in any some pastors and other christian figures along with Mullahs of the area with the support of police announced that now there will be no more fighting and hatred among the two communities. the Aziz colony has been named Aman colony (Peace colony) and the main square from where every protest and hate was launched right in front of anwer khokhar's house was named Aman Chowk.

He further commented;

"Now the current situation is that except Gill father and son  Rev Eric Isaac, they have released all christians.
if Rev.Eric Isaac is charged under terrorist act, i don't know why are they not releasing Mushtaq and Farrakh andGill. Farrkah has been beaten several times by the police and there are torture marks on his body....
the previous CPO was the one who was incharge when Gojra incident happened and he said that he will not let anyone repeat Gojra and my tears for Gojra haven't gotten dried yet.
but on the other hand many policemen were heard saying that christians have done this all so why are they afraid now to face it."

Christians in Gujranwala are suffering a real loss of faith in the police and are seeing their quality of life eroded before them.  Many have spoken about their concerns that the city will not be able to recover from the increased schism and polarisation that has evolved as a consequence of this very messy incident.  It has been said that conflicting stories perpetuated by local media publications has fuelled division and sowed significant seeds of hatred.

Recent revelations regarding the arrests of local extremists has exacerbated the sense of helplessness felt by local Christians in particular only a week has passed since a terrorist was caught from Tattaly Wali 20 kms from Gujranwala.  The felon is said to be a  Saudi national and was training children to be the next set of insurgents. The local Community were rocked when it was reported that another suicide bomber was apprehended from Nowshehra road in the city of  Gujranwala itself.  This insurgent was preparing "Pressure Cooker Bombs".

We have been informed that one of the prominent voices in the Gujranwala protests Mr Sharif Changar was arrested due to telephone calls monitored from his house, in which he was plotting a terrorist attack.  Our informant commented;  

"..weapons were also found in his house and after that a suicide bomber was arrested along with a women and kid from Sharif Changar's sister's house."

The purported arrest of the woman and child at Mr Changers house is said to have taken place on the 12th May 2011.

We have been advised that information is slow to be released and that at the moment no further threats have been made to the Christian community of Gujranwala.  The local Muslim community in general have been supportive and many have spoken to our local informant telling him they do not believe that local Christians could be complicit in the Quran burning incident.  This being the case our informant showed surprise and concern that none of them came out to voice their concerns, or counter protest against the more militant groups.  In closing he said;

"many muslim parents said to me that we knew christians cannot do this but it is also a fact that none of them even dared to call and ask about my or my family's condition or offer any help?"

Until the release of the innocent Christians caught up in this messy affair and prosecutions of the true perpetrators of the crime, no sense of justice can be assumed to have taken place.  

It is imperative that we pray for justice for Gujranwala Christians and the BPCA also calls UK readers to write to your local MP's and the UK Pakistan High Commission, calling for the release of the innocent victims.

Email the High Commissioner of Pakistan using this email:

Find contact details for your local MP here:

1 comment:

  1. Not only Gujranwala but gradually this poison of extreme hatred will spread in every area of pak where poor christians are residing. this is sad reality