Protesters called for peace and an end to persecution.
Wilson Chowdhry Chairman of the BPCA shouts for justice.
A protest outside the Pakistani Consulate of Glasgow (18th March 2013) in the significantly Asian community of Pollokshields, called for abrogation of the Blasphemy laws of Pakistan and better protection for minorities living there. The event was organised by Sheem Gill of the Scottish Asian Christian Fellowship and Wilson Chowdhry of the British Pakistani Christian Association.
Close to 100 Pakistani Christians illustrated their frustration over the recent attack on the Christian community of St Joseph's town Saturday 9th March. The attack took place after a Christian man was accused by a Muslim friend of saying a blasphemy against the prophet Muhammed. In the ensuing violence over 170 homes and 2 churches were razed to the ground, after local imams galvanised a mob of 300 to loot and destroy the Christian community enraged by the purported blasphemy.
Christians gathered outside the Consulate form 10:00am and shouted slogans calling for an end to the blasphemy laws and justice for the victims of St Joseph's town, Badami Bagh.
Sheem Gill (SACF) called for unity amongst people of good conscience and a global campaign to highlight awareness of the suffering of minorities in Pakistan.
Revd Peter Gill called for Christians to pray for divine intervention from God to bring peace to minorities in Pakistan. Pastor Shamoan Tufail, expressed dismay at the suffering of minorities in Pakistan he decried the inaction of local police, who stood back and allowed the violent attack to continue unabated.
Pakistani Christians were joined by Muslims, Sikhs and Christians of wider diversities all upset by the increasing sectarian violence destroying the fabric of society in Pakistan. Guest speakers included; The Revd Peter Gill (Wallneuk North Church of Scotland), The Revd Alex (Victory Church), Mr Sardar Ghauri (SACF), Linda Loxburh (Release International), The Revd Fateh Din, Pastor Shamoan Tufail, Khalid Sarwar (Equality Insaaf), Dr Amjad Mirza (Shab Rose) and Cllr Shabbar Jaffri.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said;
"The failings of the Government of Pakistan have created huge schism amongst its people. The incidents of violence meted out against minority communities has reached an all time high. The country has reached a nadir in its record for human rights."
"Christians in Pakistan have contributed so much to the country. Recently departed war hero Cecil Chaudhry received the highest honours for bravery, Pervez Masih a Christian Janitor died while saving 400 Muslim girls, at a school in Islamabad October 20th 2009."
He further added;
"MP Singha the pre-partition speaker for the Punjab National Assembly voted for the province to join Pakistan, after a stalemate was reached during the initial vote - quite simply without his input Pakistan would never have been created. Despite this valuable history our community and other minorities are presented as anathema in Pakistani literature and historical accounts, moreover our contribution is bereft of recognition. This only serves to breed hatred and contempt!"
Sheem Gill, Chairman of the Scottish Asian Christian Fellowship said;
"The blasphemy laws of Pakistan have for too long, become an opportunity for those settling personal vendettas or political motivations. The Government of Pakistan should abrogate the laws immediately."
Dr Amjad Mirza, President of Shab Rose, said;
"Religious violence is a direct result of using religion for political motives.The blasphemy law in Pakistan must remove the death penalty."
A petition was submitted to the Consulate of Pakistan with a request for a response. A copy of the petition can be signed here:
Old and young wanted to make their voices heard.
Over seven ministers of Pakistani origin joined the protest.
Christians prayed for succour and peace for the victims of the St Joseph's attack.
Muslim Group Equality Insaaf joined the protest.
Muslim leader Amjad Mirza holding a BPCA poster with images of the attack.
Loud voices decried the treatment of Pakistani minorities.
Prayer after prayer was said for victims of St Joseph's Colony.
Christians hold the cross as they face the Pakistani Consulate.