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Monday 17 September 2012

Homeless Pakistani Christians from Rimsha's village including their Pastor were severely beaten by CDA officials

Defiant Christians encouraged by Shamim Masih call for justice after the land they live on was promised to them by former President Gillani!

These poor children are forced to work and few attend school.  Their mothers and fathers will be involved in manual labour, sewage work or domestic labour on extremely low salaries.  Costs of homes are prohibitive so they are forced to live in tents -it is not a choice but a stark reality of harsh economic conditions!

Islamabad Pakistan, (Shamim Masih):

Homeless people of sector H-9, Islamabad were severely beaten with their pastor by officials of Capital Development Authority (CDA) Islamabad on 7th September 2012.

Many Displaced families from Rimsha's village travelled to  H- 9, sector Islamabad, where they erected tents as temporary accommodation, trying to escape the violence in their home town. H-9 is one of Islamabad's many slums, with more then 300 families living in the tents since September 2009.

According to Pastor Arif Khokher on the morning of 7th September CDA officials with a task force came to the slum and start beating the new and old Christians residents living there. 

One of the officers called Pastor Khokher to meet with them - a leader for the itinerant community living there.  When Pastor Khokher emerged from his tent he was slapped several times publicly, without any reason.   The Pastor was pushed to the floor and kicked then pulled up and lain across a CDA van where he was threatened and continued to be beaten. 

When the Christian villagers heard the cry of their pastor they rushed out of their tents and rescued their pastor.  Many were beaten whilst getting the pastor to safety.

CDA official’s warned the Christian community to leave the slum within a few days, otherwise their temporary dwellings would be demolished and they would suffer more beatings. 

CDA officials severely beat the entire Christian community including the new migrants and in the process they broke the arm of Mr. Yousaf Masih.

Yousaf said;

"I was sitting outside the tents when the CDA task force arrived.  They asked me to call my pastor.  As I went towards Pastor's tent they started beating me with sticks and broke my  arm, whilst insulting me and asking me to move quicker."

On leaving the CDA launched an FIR in I- 9 Police station, against the pastor saying that he called his followers to cause violence and was trespassing.

This slum is known as “Akram Masih Gill Colony”, when Shamim Masih called Akram Masih Gill to ask him about this incident, he recieved no comment. 

A message was left with his Personal Secretary calling for him to intervene and resolve this incident.  We are informed that to date no action had been taken against those CDA  officials.

Shamim Masih said;

"Many Christians were granted permission to live at H-9 by the former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Galiani in 2009, when they were displaced from Shehzad town, Islamabad to the road side of G-7 where it was felt inappropriate for them to live. Since then they are living there in the tents, there is no electricity, no water provision, and no drainage system. Their living is pathetic, and no Christian leader seems to pay a whole lot of attention to them."

Wilson Chowdhry of the BPCA said;

"Poor Christians in Pakistan are among the most vulnerable people in Pakistan's splintered society.  The villagers from Rimsha's town having fled to H-9 have inadvertently made the lives of the permanent settlers there untenable.  This land was granted to a former displaced community a former Primeminister and we call on the Government to ensure that these families are protected from further attacks and that their permitted status is made widely known.  Moreover, we call for relocation of Rimsha's villagers and full compensation for their homes and stolen personal belongings." 

The BPCA has created a fund to protect and feed these families who have been forgotten by Pakistani authorities.  If you would like to contribute please use the details below:

If you would like to contribute to our "Rimsha Masih Fund" (Please apply the fund name as a reference) please use the PayPal facility on the top right hand corner of our blog.  You can also send your contributions by cheque payable to;

British Pakistani Christian Association.

Post to;

British Pakistani Christian Association
57 Green Lane
IG1 1XG 

Alternatively should you wish you can pay by BACS, direct debit or standing order by paying into the following account details: 

Sort Code: 20-67-90 

Account Number: 63468976

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