Equal Rights or Might is Right?


Christians surrounding Lahore (including Youhanabad)

 

Intro to ‘Equal Rights or Might is Right?’

Intro by John R. Houk

5/5/15

Post by Shamim Masih

Sent: 5/2/2015 12:56 PM

 

Pakistan’s religious minorities are a persecuted lot in the Sunni majority nation. All those minorities receive a large dose of violence and horrors from Sunni Muslims. As a Christian myself I find it particularly horrific the kind of treatment Pakistani Christians receive. Examples range from kidnapping females for forced matrimony, forced conversions, rape, physical assaults due to false accusations of committing blasphemy against Islam (which could be something as simple as burning a single page of the Quran) to settle disputes or to steal Christian property AND downright just horrible violence of graphic forms of murder. In contrast if a Muslim denigrates Christ or Christianity there has been ZERO enforcement of the rule of law against Muslim perpetrators. Muslim mobs will rampage on a Christian community burning homes, Churches, Bibles and murder sprees. Legal consequences against Muslim victimizers are rare. If the Christian community is lucky maybe one or two scapegoats get a slap on the wrist and a probable suspended sentence.

 

In researching the latest Shamim Masih submission for posting I found an article exposing the marginalizing of Pakistani Christians in the NY Times of all places. Here is an excerpt:

 

… According to one estimate, in the last two years there have been 36 targeted attacks on Pakistani Christians, 265 Christian deaths from suicide bombings and 21 “persecutions” of Christians under Pakistan’s blasphemy law. To their credit, several TV anchors ran heart-rending montages of recent incidents in which Muslim mobs or terrorists had shot, bombed or burned Pakistani Christians.

 

But by last Tuesday the conversation had changed, after it was established that the two men lynched by the Christian mob were blameless Muslims who happened to be near the churches when the explosions took place. (Police officers had apprehended the men on suspicion of abetting the bombers, but quickly gave them up to the rioters.) The news of their innocence gave the debates a kind of retributive equilibrium, allowing Muslim politicians to spar with Christian leaders about the other community’s excesses before rolling out their convenient conclusions: All of Pakistan was under threat from Islamist terrorists, even if religious minorities were especially vulnerable; the attack on the Christians was no different from attacks on Shiites and Ahmadis, two sects that have also been targeted by hard-line Sunni groups.

 

The message — that the bombing of two churches was no big deal in this war-torn country — was not lost on anyone.

 

But Pakistani Christians have a strong claim to being the country’s most anciently marginalized group, their predicament made all the more intractable by the silence that surrounds it.

 

This silence is not just about religion; it is also about caste. Most of Pakistan’s 2.8 million Christians are descended from low-caste tribes converted by Anglican and Catholic missionaries during the period of British rule. Dwelling mainly in Punjab Province, these tribes were associated with menial occupations such as sweeping and carcass collection, and had for centuries borne the corresponding stigmas of ritual pollution and “untouchability.” By converting to Christianity — so the missionaries claimed — these long-oppressed peoples were embracing a life of salvation and dignity. …

 

 

What we have, then, is the peculiar despair of a people who are unable to articulate their real grievance, a people who have no political parties or voting blocs of their own, who have only churches and pastors and the eternal motifs of suffering and deliverance to see them through this dark period.

 

To live in present-day Pakistan is to know all this in one’s bones. It is to recognize a welter of prejudices related to the word “Christian,” with its caste associations of waste and blood and a rarely acknowledged but ingrained sense of primordial difference. …

 

Last week’s riots, which were instigated by a religious attack, brought a long-oppressed community’s fury to the fore. … READ ENTIRETY! (Pakistani Christians Fight Back; By ALI SETHI; NY Times; 3/24/15)

 

Shamim Masih brings an onsite Pakistani Christian perspective about the injustice that finally erupted into a rare Christian reprisal against Islamic terrorism in the murder of two Muslims not involved in the homicidal-suicide bomb attack on two separate Churches in the Youhanabad area of Punjab Pakistan. Shamim focuses on how the local authorities have rounded up Christian leaders such as the Human Rights activist Joseph Francis to blame for the murders of the two Muslims AND YET there have NEVER been any arrest of any Sunni leaders in relations to a decades long occurrence of heinous Christian Persecution.

 

Joseph Francis- MBE Award from Queen Elizabeth II 2014

 

Joseph Francis thanked Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for the dignity and rank of honorary member as well as nominated him for the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) award 2014

 

 

JRH 5/5/15

Please Support NCCR

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Equal Rights or Might is Right?

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 5/2/2015 12:56 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Interior Minister said, if religious beliefs of others are not given respect then it will only promote terrorism. People of Paris should have protested against the cartoons the same way they protested against the attack on Charlie Hebdo, he added. Showing disrespect, being insensitive and ridiculing any religion or faith certainly cannot be termed as freedom of speech which may invite different reactions leading to what happened in France. However, Pakistani Interior Minister cannot preach to others as not only its [Pakistan Muslim] own education curriculum contains a hatred element for other religions which needs to be addressed. First as the same [Charlie Hebdo violence] has resulted in violence against minority communities and treating them as second CLAAS citizens as well. Mr. Nisar should first establish [his religious respect opinion as a] norm in Pakistan and then preach for others. For peaceful coexistence and harmony in this country, all should respect the other religions and avoid doing anything that hurts or insults other people. Disrespecting others’ religion is not ‘freedom of speech’. We know how other religions are being disrespected through school education, law and in society in Pakistan, is not this hypocrisy?

 

According to the media reports, most recently, the Punjab Govt. planned to implicate Joseph Francis, a [human] rights activist in the Youhanabad case. Earlier many Christians from Youhanabad were booked for the lynching of two Muslims after a deadly suicide bomb attack on two Churches which killed more than 20 Christians and many were injured. According to CLAAS, many are still missing and police did not produce them in the courts. CLAAS had filed a writ petition no. 8344/15 in the Lahore High Court (LHC) in which police did not produce the detainee Parviaz [or Pervaiz] John, Yousaf Kamran and his son Shaleem Yousaf. The learned judge LHC disposed of the writ petition with the direction to file a petition under section 22 A & 22 B for the registration of FIR before the Sessions Judge, Lahore with the power of Justice and Peace against the concerned SHO, DSP and SSP investigation. After the judgment from the learned court, according to the media reports, Punjab Government announced [it would] arrest Mr. Francis for blaming Sharif family [as] responsible for the Youhanabad incident and ordered to take action against Christians’ NGOs in Youhanabad and around the vicinity. Punjab govt. also blamed that Mr. Francis instigate the mass to violate which resulted road blockage and ransacking of Metro bus railings.

 

According to Joseph Francis, he was admitted in the hospital during this period and secondly, Pakistani are witnessed to many such types of protests which not only resulted ransacking but in August 2014, we have seen that Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf PTI and PAT – remained sitting on the red zone area but also attacked the Parliament house and PTV buildings. Mr. Nisar and CM Punjab, can you tell me, have you ever announced to arrest Imran Khan and Tahir ul Qadri? I am not supporting people to violate the law but [do] want the equality and the rule of law to be same. After the assassination of the late Benazir Bhutto, protesters not only destroyed public properties but also looted ATM machines in many cities of the country. How many of them were detained and punished?

 

In Gojra, Shanti Nager, Mardan, Joseph Colony many churches were burnt and how many of them were punished so far? Mr. Nisar, learn to give respect to [minority] religions and punish those who burnt the Christian couple alive in Kot Radha Kishan, and 8 family members including children in Gojra. Aslam Parvaiz Sohtra and Sohail Johnson are being targeted for being outspoken for the rights of community they belong to. The daughter of Aslam Parvez Sohtra said her father was patient and authorities didn’t allow the family to see him. It is just simply planted and Punjab govt. is doing it to curb the voice of Christians. This is very unfortunate that some Christian politicians are behind it, certainly they will meet their ends.

     

The latest US Commission on International Religious Freedom report also noted that Pakistan represents one of the worst situations in the world for religious freedom”. The report on Pakistan said that the country continued to experience chronic sectarian violence targeting Shias, Christians, Ahmadis, and Hindus. Despite positive rulings by the Supreme Court, the government failed to provide adequate protection to targeted groups or to prosecute perpetrators and those calling for violence. The foundation of Pakistan was laid on the principles of peace, tolerance and religious freedom. But this is unfortunate that after 68 years of independence, women lack and minorities lack equality, religious dissenters are persecuted our political freedoms are curtailed. How can we think of becoming a great nation without giving freedom? Human rights defenders and journalists are staunched. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) report for 2014 [See Also HERE] expectedly paints a grim picture of the state of human rights in Pakistan. Some of the highlights the report quotes are shocking. The number of people killed in terrorist attacks in 2014 was 1723 while 3143 were injured. Many of these were targeted 210 people lost their lives in sectarian attacks, 12 doctors, 13 lawyers and 45 members of polio vaccination teams fall victim to the killers’ bullets. The report speaks not just of the conditions of insecurity of human life we live under, it also notes that people’s freedoms, thought, association, religious beliefs or conscience have been under attack.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

 

Diplomatic Correspondent, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, UN, F & S, MOST, CADD & Human Rights Activist

 

For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

_____________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All links within Shamim’s report are by the Editor for source context and all text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Somebody’s Lying in Pakistan


Abolish Blasphemy Laws

I Stand with Shamim Masih

John R. Houk

© October 2, 2014

 

A very sad thing is occurring in Pakistan.

 

On September 29 I posted a report from Shamim Masih entitled, “CLAAS has nothing to do with Zafar Bhatti case, says Basharat Khokhar”. Shamim asserted a few thing in that report:

 

1)    Mainstream Media reporting that the murder of Christian Pakistani Pastor Zafar Bhatti in prison awaiting execution for a conviction of Blasphemy was completely erroneous.

 

2)   The Christian Civil Rights organization CLAAS in Pakistan was not representing Zafar as they claimed.

 

3)   That CLAAS has done nothing materially for Zafar’s family nor has CLAAS performed any legal representation for Zafar.

 

4)    AND Shamim gave the implication (but not a direct accusation) that CLAAS was using Zafar’s name to drum up donations deceptively with false claims of aid and legal representation.

 

It is my humble opinion that Shamim was indicating that Zafar Bhatti had made international news for the first time and hence CLAAS took the focus of international scrutiny to connect their organization with Zafar to make the push for Western donors would heap financial sympathy toward CLAAS’s way.

 

Just to add some fair-and-balance to the unfortunate disagreement between Shamim’s reporting and CLAAS’s claims, Shamim had appealed me to directly ask readers to send donations to Shamim to help with legal bills and to provide material support for Zafar’s family while the avoidance from execution was legally being parleyed on Zafar’s behalf. Thus Shamim also asked for donations. The difference being for me however, is that CLAAS used the international publicity as a photo-op while Shamim did not publicize himself with fanfare. Shamim simply asked.

 

I have to tell you that Shamim Masih has never led me astray in his reporting of Christian persecution ongoing in Pakistan. And so I was more than willing – and continue to be willing – to forward Shamim’s donation process to my readers.

 

[Which by the way the donation is for Zafar Bhatti’s family not Shamim; ergo here is that donation info for Americans and Westerners:

 

The best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560. There are other ways hence I provide bank information underneath Shamim’s rebuttal to CLAAS.]

 

It is evident that Shamim’s report has given CLAAS the feeling of being impugned. Here is an excerpt of the Pakistan Christian Post report defending their version of the truth which reasserts their organization is personally involved in helping Zafar materially and legally (I usually edit Shamim’s postings but I am not doing so with the Pakistan Christian Post article):

 

Just to remind that the work which CLAAS doing is the commitment with the God to provide assistance to the persecuted, needy and poor Christians in Pakistan. We are honestly doing our job and CLAAS means to help persecuted without hesitation, to give assistance without expectation and to love community without limitations. We just trying to help or assist people as much as we can but, it is their own will if they want to go to other groups to ask help for their own satisfaction, as we cannot bind them to stay with CLAAS but when they again need help, they are welcomed to CLAAS.

Pakistani so called Christian organizations says that CLAAS use to do photo sessions of people, yes we do for our records. I would like to ask that is there any NGO who do not make photos?

In Zafar Bhatti case the family was mislead twice by few groups in Rawalpindi and after two three months they were again back to CLAAS and requested for financial support and assistance in the legal case of Zafar Bhatti. CLAAS did not denied and again providing food items, financial support monthly and the legal case of Zafar Bhatti.

CLAAS receive thanks letters from Zafar Bhatti he wrote from the prison and also taking care of his medicine and other basic need in the prison. CLAAS legal team and Mr. Joseph Francis personally going to attend court hearings of Zafar case regularly, as the case trial is in prison. After the attack on M. Asghar in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi, Basharat Khokher and Khalid Shehzad mislead the family and sent wrong report of Zafar Bhatti’s murder on international media. They also disturb the family to make them upset and confused by giving them the news of Zafar Bhatti’s killing and ask them to go to the hospitals to see him in the dead houses. They did not only disturbed an old age wife of Zafar Bhatti and also misreported the international media reporter in Islamabad which the news reporter has to rewrite and make correction in the report after taking the correct facts from CLAAS and Nawab Bibi that Zafar Bhatti was alive.

Anyhow CLAAS is not answerable to the people like Khalid Shahzad who has bad politics and reporting that CLAAS is misleading families and use to do photo sessions with the families but there is only GOD we need to be afraid. We trust in God and believe that CLAAS is working in Pakistan just because the God’s will. The new arising Christian NGO’s doing work without vision and afraid from the firmed organization like CLAAS as they cannot get funds from the funding organizations without creating between donors for CLAAS.

If they work for good purpose, which is to provide justice and secure future to the suffering Christian brothers and sisters and assist them in their legal problems, why they highjack the victim’s families. Why they misreport on international and national media, why they using bad policies for the legs pulling of each others. They should sit down together and to clear the misunderstandings if they have any and to guide each other if someone is on mistake because we all are doing work on the same agenda to help people.

It is worth mentioned here that who is Basharat Khokher? A police constable in Islamabad Region Police. A member of APMA; he met CLAAS Director Joseph Francis during the case of Rimsha Bibi victim of blasphemy as he pretended a dispute with Khalid Gill of APMA and Paul Bhatti, APMA leader and brother of Shahbaz Bhatti (late) Minority Minister assassinated by an extremists group. Basharat Gill along with Paul Bhatti worked in Rimsha case but after her release he asked Mr. Bhatti to arrange his visa to Canada but remained fail. Then he asked Mr. Joseph Francis to get visa through any embassy in Islamabad as Mr. Francis asked Basharat that it is not easy to get visa for Canada, America or Europe. But he has been insisting Mr. Francis to help in getting visa from any embassy as Mr. Francis has good relations in foreign embassies in Islamabad. There is nothing than blackmailing Basharat Khokher doing with CLAAS and also Shamim Masih so called Christian journalist who also blackmailer.

Basharat claimed in the report published on “Global Christians Voice” That CLAAS do nothing with Zafar Bhatti case as Pervaiz Khan Advocate in Rawalpindi is his lawyer and they can prove with record/documents. We want to say very clearly that Mr. Tahir Bashir CLAAS Lawyer is Zafar Bhatti’s lawyer and attending every court hearing as Pervaiz Khan is Ghazala’s irregular lawyer (she is co accuse in blasphemy case with Zafar). Ghazala is on bail and she required to the court on each hearing but since last 3 hearings she was absent and on September 25, 2014 the learned Judge has issued arrest warrant against her and ordered the SHO to arrest her present in the court on the next hearing on October 01, 2014. Mr. Joseph Francis National Director CLAAS would be present in the court along with legal team.

CLAAS is providing free legal aid to Zafar Bhatti, monthly food and financial support to his family.

Today CLAAS arrange special visit of Nawab Bibi with Zafar Bhatti at Adiala Jail through one colleague from British High Commission Islamabad. Nawab Bibi was happy and satisfied to see Zafar Bhatti alive and thankful to CLAAS for arranging her special visit with Zafar Bhatti.

Gazal Khan Co-accused of Zafar Bhatti Blasphemy Case Reaches To LEAD For Legal Assistance.

 

There is more but is some info on the co-accused Ms. “Gazal” Khan which is followed by Shamim Masih’s report in entirety (Who is supporting Zafar Bhatti in Jail? Christian Pakistan Post; 9/30/14)

 

As the Pakistan Christian Post reports and CLAAS concurs Gazala Khan is being represented by Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD).

 

JRH 10/2/14

Please Support NCCR

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Race to Take Credit

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 10/1/2014 12:49 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Since Zafar Bhatti, accused of blasphemy case confined in central jail Adayla, Rawalpindi is being reported in main stream media, individuals and non-government organizations are in race to take the credit for representing his case.

 

Today the court adjourned the case hearing till October 15, 2014 due to the absence of his co-accused Ghazala Khan. Parvaiz Khan, legal representative of Zafar Bhatti and Ghazala Khan said that he presented the medical certificate of his client and the Additional Session Judge Muhammad Iqbal Chadhar adjourned the case hearing and fixed the next court hearing for 15th October, accepting her medical certificate and advised him to bring her in the court for next hearing.

 

According to the details major media outlets reported earlier that Zafar Bhatti and Muhammad Asghar were shot in the prison and one of them was killed and other was injured and was taken to the hospital. I said and reported that the earlier media reports were erroneous. Zafar Bhatti was not shot but only Asghar Ali, the shooting was not fatal and he was taken to the hospital and was in stable condition. From the Western point of view it shooting in Adayla Jail was worse because Muhammad Yousaf was a police constable and was supposed to be their Guard.

 

Basharat Khokhar, human rights activist said he had engaged a lawyer Parvaiz Khan for the case that had been hijacked by Joseph Francis. He claimed that Parvaiz Khan is his lawyer.

Parvaiz Khan-legitimate Zafar Bhatti sig

 

I roughly reported that CLAAS is doing squat for Zafar Bhatti. As there are many reports that many so called rights champions and non-government organizations in Pakistan pitching for donations deceptively and then using the funds to line personal pockets. As soon as this report was printed in different Western media outlets, Joseph Francis, chief of CLAAS threatened me and declared me “so called journalist and black mailer” and his mercenaries also abused me and said that if I write something against CLAAS, then will face dire consequences.

 

Today both claimed that they were in the court and other party was absent. I am posting both powers of attorney, one is from Parvaiz Khan, which is duly singed by Zafar Bhatti and attested by the Deputy Superintendent Jail and the other one is from Tahir Bashir lawyer of CLAAS, which seems fake, with forged sign and without legal stamp by the jail authorities.

Tahir Bashir-CLAAS forgery of Zafar Bhatti sig

 

This is the attitude of the human rights champion Joseph Francis and his non-government organization CLAAS towards the reporters and its work, who write and report when you use these sort of case to “mint more money” instead service to the community.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

______________________

Somebody’s Lying in Pakistan

John R. Houk

© October 2, 2014

____________________

Race to Take Credit

 

Edited by John R. Houk

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Western Union to Pakistan Shamim Support Info:

 

For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General of Information

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

MORE Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

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CLAAS has nothing to do with Zafar Bhatti case…


Zafar Bhatti - Pakistan

Intro to ‘CLAAS has nothing to do with Zafar Bhatti case, says Basharat Khokhar’

Edited by John R. Houk

Posted: September 29, 2014

 

Early reports from major media outlets had been informed that Pakistan Pastor Zafar Bhatti and/or Ali (Muhammad) Asghar were shot and killed by yet another Muslim convinced he was doing Allah’s will in defense of Islam. From a Western point of view it shooting in Adayla Prison was worse because he was either a policeman or a Guard. Shamim Masih reports the earlier media reports were erroneous. Pastor Bhatti was not shot but only Ali Asghar. And Asghar’s shooting was not fatal and is reportedly in a Pakistan hospital in stable condition.

 

Here are some headlines in conjunction Adayla Prison inmates being shot:

 

Christian Pastor Accused of Blasphemy Killed in Pakistan JailNBC News -9/25/14

 

British pensioner on Pakistan’s death row on blasphemy charge shot by policemanThe Independent – 9/25/14

 

Zafar Bhatti safe while UK man accused of blasphemy wounded by police firing in JailPakistan Christian Post – 9/26/14

 

Cop shoots blasphemy convict in Adiala jailInternational: The News – 9/26/14

 

The walls International: The News -9/28/14

 

PASTOR ZAFAR BHATTI WHO IS ALSO BLASPHEMY ACCUSED IS SAFE IN ADGlobal Christian Voice (English somewhat broken) – 9/28/14

 

Gazala Khan Co-accused of Zafar Bhatti Blasphemy Case Reaches To LEAD For Legal AssistanceLegal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD) – 9/28/14

 

 

Shamim’s point is not so much the confusion on the shooting of a Pakistani Christian Pastor and a British Muslim of Pakistan origin. Rather the point is Pakistani Christian civil rights organization the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement (CLAAS) is making false representation claims for Pastor Zafar Bhatti.

 

The CLAAS website gets the facts correct on Pastor Bhatti and the Muslim Ali (Muhammad) Asghar but goes on to report on the 9/26/14 report:

 

CLAAS is deeply saddened on this incident and deeply concern for other blasphemy victims who confined in different Jails of Punjab.

 

Concerning about Zafar Bhatti, he is safe and sound and CLAAS has spoken to the jail superintendent to confirm the life security of him in prison. CLAAS is dealing with the legal case of Zafar Bhatti and also has good understanding with the jail staff including Superintendent. Above all CLAAS colleague from the British High Commission was at the spot to rescue Muhammad Asghar and took him to the DHQ emergency for immediate treatment and he is still with the victim in the hospital. Meanwhile CLAAS asked Nawab Bibi to go to the prison to visit Zafar Bhatti and see if he was safe.

 

CLAAS is happy that Zafar Bhatti is safe and really sad due to this unpleasant incident of murder attempt on Muhammad Asghar a British National.

 

CLAAS urged the Government of Pakistan to assure the life security of blasphemy victims with in the prisons of Punjab we have to say with a heavy heart that if the police is involve in such incidents who will provide security????

 

We ask your prayers for the life safety of all blasphemy victims confined in the prisons of Punjab and especially prayer for Zafar Bhatti, Asia Bibi and Sawan Masih in which CLAAS providing legal assistance. (Man Sentenced for Blasphemy Shot In Adiala Jail Rawalpindi, Pakistan; By asif; CLAAS; 9/26/14)

 

Shamim takes a more journalistic approach, but roughly he is reporting CLAAS is doing squat for Pastor Zafar Bhatti. Shamim has written in the past of Christian organizations in Pakistan pitching for donations deceptively and then using the funds to line personal pockets. Here Shamim does not make that specific accusation against CLAAS but I have to wonder, is this one of those occasions in which a Pakistani Christian organization is publicly pumping its name for the purpose of donations?

 

JRH 9/29/14

Please Support NCCR

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CLAAS has nothing to do with Zafar Bhatti case, says Basharat Khokhar

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 9/26/2014 10:10 PM

 

Rawalpindi – Centre for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement – CLAAS has nothing to do with Zafar Bhatti case, said Basharat Khokhar and Khalid Shahzad. The CLAAS chief had a photo session with his family but had done nothing to save his skin.

 

According to the details, since the incident of Asghar Ali, victim of a blasphemy case, was shot by the police constable within the premises of Central Jail Adayla Rawalpindi. CLAAS reported about this case and claimed that the said organization is dealing with Zafar Bhatti’s case; blasphemy accused is safe in Adayla Jail. But Basharat Khokhar and Khalid Shahzad, social activists rejected CLAAS and said that CLAAS is no more with Zafar Bhatti’s case. Basharat told that CLAAS chief went to his family and had photo session but is not dealing with his case. He claimed that his lawyer Parvaiz Khan is his attorney and dealing actually with his case.

 

Khalid Shahzad social activist said that CLAAS is habitual in misleading the people, this organization is not doing anything on the ground. CLAAS is neither dealing with Sawan Masih nor Asia Bibi case but claiming [involvement] unfairly about both cases. He [Shazad] said CLAAS is wasting funds paying bribes and in other activities, but not doing anything for the good of Christians in the country. During Sawan Masih case, CLAAS chief took pictures with Sawan and his family using unfair means, he added.

 

On the hand, Joseph Francis chief of CLAAS said that Tahir Bashir is the attorney to Zafar Bhatti and he is being [represented] by CLAAS. He said we can prove with [a] document when required.

 

Earlier CLAAS reported that Asghar Ali s/o Hakam Dad, Muslim by faith (some people believe that he is Ahmadi by faith), victim of the blasphemy case and FIR was registered at PS Sadiqabad under section 295-C. Asghar Ali was confined in Adayla Jail, Rawalpindi shot by a police constable appointed for his security. He was immediately taken to the hospital. He was sentenced to death in January, 2014. Yousaf, police constable was appointed for his security; he shot fire within the jail premises. Asghar Ali reportedly wrote a letter claiming to be a prophet and was arrested in 2010. Religious leadership gave a verdict against him that after the prophet Mohammad no one can claim it so he has not right to live. He was convicted and sentenced to death. The new of attack and murder of Zafar Bhatti victim of 295-C imprisoned in Adiala [interchangeable with Adayla] Jail is not correct Zafar Bhatti is safe only Asghar another blasphemy victim who was sentenced to death in January 2014 was gunshot by police constable of Elite Force.

 

There were rumours that Zafar Bhatti a Christian victim of blasphemy 295-C and Telegraph Act confined in Adiala [interchangeable with Adayla] Jail was gun down by a police constable. Some of reputed national daily reported the same news which is not true. The Christian community across the country is deeply saddened on this incident and urged the authorities to assure the life of blasphemy victims in a different jail of the country. A few years back Salam Taseer (Governor Punjab) was gunned down by his security guard and was garlanded by the religious scholars.

  

[Often Christians are falsely accused] Victims of blasphemy [which] is punishable to death in Pakistan. Christian right activists in Pakistan have been claiming to revisit [the blasphemy] law, but certainly there are some organizations [that publicly present a profile of doing right, but really] are pretending [and] do nothing practical [for the falsely accused]. Pakistani Christians need education to improve their living standard. Thousands of the children are out of school and [the] drop [out] rate is getting high. This is unfortunate that rights activists are wasting their sources and energy in non-productive activities. 

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

_____________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Text enclosed in brackets are by the Editor.

 

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 

Secretary General of Information

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
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The Other Side of Grief


Asia Bibi MOTHER OF FIVE WITH TWO OF HER CHILDREN

Shamim Masih reports an update of Asia Bibi arrested for blasphemy in 2009 and sentenced to death by hanging in 2010 and has languished in jail awaiting the noose or release to this present day in 2014.

 

Here is a telling video posted on 2/25/12:

 

VIDEO: PAKISTAN’S BLASPHEMY LAW: ETHNIC CLEANSING OF CHRISTIANS

 

JRH 3/22/14

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The Other Side of Grief

Asia’s appeal deferred again

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 3/21/2014 2:24 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: After three years, Asia’s children would be hoping to see the[r mother at home as her case was fixed for a hearing before a division bench. Asia Bibi’s appeal was taken up at the Lahore High Court (LHC) praying that the conviction for blasphemy was inconsistent with the evidence. The court may reduce her sentence, if it does not grant an acquittal altogether. Judges are reluctant to use their powers to take up Asia’s case on a priority basis due to its controversial [nature within Muslim Pakistan]. Asia Bibi was charged for insulting Muhammad and then sentenced to death. My heart aches and aches and I found myself crying almost the entire time, even though I never had a chance to know her. The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement CLAAS claimed to provide legal aid and assistance to [family] members of Asia Bibi.

 

Beside the truth that the LHC deferred the way it has [cancelled hearings in the past]. In addition we should instead look into the subject of publishing the particular request [Blog Editor: maybe for acquittal] prior to the courtroom [appearance] in addition to publically introducing the court date. [Blog Editor: I rearranged the word order. Hopefully I guessed correctly the point Shamim was making.]

 

I think; we should be profoundly concerned about the security of Asia Bibi and her family instead taking credit. I wrote and went to Lahore for the proceeding of the case because after three years this case is [looked at] again. As I was on the way [to the hearing] I came to know that [the case] was deferred [again] so I went to see her family. There I met her husband Aashiq Masih, who was disheartened. Earlier we planned to follow the case secretly but observing the law and order situation in the country, we didn’t take up an application. We know that Asia’s case is sensitive in this situation [within Pakistan and] we are not worthy to take credits [for reporting]. Asia, 45, has been in the jail since June, 2009. Yasin Badar, advocate CLAAS stated that judges must be under some pressure because there was no other reason why the hearing could be cancelled twice. He said the judge hearing her appeal went on a leave on the last hearing.

 

It is very obvious that judges are under pressure, since Governor Salaman Taseer and Federal Minister Shahbaz Bhatti were assassinated. There is no other reason [judges continuously cancelling court dates]. Talking on the phone Joseph Francis chief of CLAAS claimed that he is supporting Asia’s family. While Aashiq Masih (Asia’s husband) denies [the validity of Josef Francis’] statement. Bibi’s husband said CLAAS has never helped his family in this regard since she was arrested. CLAAS accumulates funds in her name but not [actually] working for Asia.

 

CLAAS has reportedly conned the Sawan case [Blog Editor: Sawan Masih blasphemy case initial report. Sawan update 2/22/14 – Sawan claims blasphemy charged fabricated for land grab] as well. There are several loopholes in the prosecution’s case, including her extrajudicial confession, inconsistencies in the testimony of prosecution witness and procedural lapses, said her attorney. In this situation if the case is taken up sensibly it will win acquittal.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

__________________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All text and links within brackets are by the Editor

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel – 5

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Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

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Leaders fear more violence against Christians


CLAAS panel at Lahore Press Club

 

Intro: Leaders fear more violence against Christians

John R. Houk

© June 4, 2013

 

Evidently the last election cycle in Pakistan has placed a government in place that will increase the yoke of bondage among Pakistani Christians. Christian leaders in Pakistan are so fearful of the situation that they are exploring possibilities for a Christian exodus to nations in which Christianity predominates. In my mind that means Western nations and probably the USA is at the top of that list.

 

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) political party came to power after the recent 2013 elections in Pakistan. The Party leader Nawaz Sharif apparent Islamic religious views fall to the purist (i.e. Radical Islam) side of Islam. This means religious minorities in Pakistan can expect a rough ride because of this. Since Christians are often viewed as the lowest form of existence among Pakistani minorities that means Believers in the Resurrection and accompanying Salvation in Christ Jesus have a target for persecution and exploitation on their heads in Pakistan.

 

Check out this excerpt from Martin Barillas writing for Spero News about Pakistani Christians:

 

After the recent elections that brought to power the “Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz” (PML-N) party and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, many Christians are skeptical. In a recent conference held in Lahore, a group of Christian leaders said that Pakistani Christians are worried about the future.

 

Among their concerns is the prosection (sic) of Pakistan’s Muslim blasphemy laws, which are often used to persecute Christian minorities. Nadeem Anthony, a Christian lawyer, told the Fides news agency, “The majority of Christians do not have high hopes in Sharif’s future government because of his religious conservative approach and links with fundamentalist groups. Sharif was also in favor of the blasphemy law, which is a major cause of problems for Christians in Pakistan,” he recalls.

 

 

Christians note that perpetrators of anti-Christian violence apparently act with impunity in the majority Muslim country. Following the 2009 affray [SlantRight Editor: See this Christianity Today article to see what happened in 2009], only 17 people were charged with murder and another 113 charges with aiding in the massacre. All were released within a few months. “The witnesses were systematically intimidated and silenced,” said Peter Jacob of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan. (Read Entirety; 6/3/13)

 

Shamim Masih is a Pakistani Christian journalist in Pakistan. He shares the underlying fears growing among Pakistani Christians because the PML-N in the 2013 elections.

 

JRH 6/4/13

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Leaders fear more violence against Christians

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 6/3/2013 2:03 PM

 

Lahore:  Joseph Francis, International Director, CLAAS, said in a press conference here today that Pakistani Christians are in great fear to face more violence and torture during the next government of PML-N.

 

In the press conference at Lahore Press Club, Joseph Francis said that “we are afraid that during the PML-N rule, Pakistani Christians will face more violence as they have faced similar situation in the past during PML-N government. Gojra, Korian and Joseph Colony incidents were being planned by the fanatics and supported by PML-N leadership”, he alleged.

 

Talking to the media, Martin Javed Michel blamed that Joseph Colony incident was backed by PML-N leaders Malik Riaz, Chaudhry Shehbaz, Dr. Asad Ashraf, Ghazali Saleem Butt and Mushtaq Mughal and it was reported to the police as well. “But unfortunately, Premier Mian Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif have not taken any notice against them and the same leaders are in the ruling elite and will create more problems for Christians“. He said, “we are Pakistanis since our forefathers and have been faithful to the country but unluckily, since partition, we are being treated as second class citizen“. “If the situation remains same as it seems, then Pakistani Christians will be forced to leave the country as Hindu community left for India in the recent past“, he feared.

 

Joseph Francis, working for the victims for the last two decades has requested the foreign countries like Australia, Canada, America and European Union to open their gates for Pakistani Christians. He demanded the Christian countries to provide shelter for the Pakistani Christians as they are not safe in Pakistan. India opened their gates for Hindu fellows why can’t Christian counties do the same for Christians, he demanded. He demanded Chief Justice of Pakistan to form a Commission for fact finding of the Joseph Colony incident and culprits should be punished.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

________________________

Intro: Leaders fear more violence against Christians

John R. Houk

© June 4, 2013

__________________________

Leaders fear more violence against Christians

 

Shamim Masih

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General

REAP

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Pakistani-Christians Don’t have Right to Protest…


pakistan-blasphemy-protest

Shamim Masih is a Pakistani Christian that is both a journalist and Human Rights activist. He has been giving me an on the scene perspective of Islamic Supremacism in action in Pakistan of the crazy persecution of Christians at the hand of Muslims that erupted when a vengeful minded Muslim decided to take issue with his (I am guessing former) drinking companion with Christian roots. The Muslim former drinking buddy cried to a Muslim Cleric that Sawan Masih had blasphemed the Muslim Prophet Mohammed. The Cleric called for action that led to the massive destruction of Joseph Colony Christian homes and the Church at the Christian community.

 

Shamim has updated me that the Muslim Supremacism is continuing with Muslim agitators threatening Christian protesters with harm and murder if they continue to protest against Islamic Supremacist persecution of Christians.

 

JRH 3/15/13

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Pakistani-Christians Don’t have Right to Protest Against the Misuse of Blasphemy Law

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 3/14/2013 3:32 PM

 

Islamabad Pakistan (Shamim Masih): Hundreds Pakistani Christians become homeless in Badami Bagh, Lahore. 200 homes of Joseph Colony were turned to ashes and poor Christians are sitting in the streets, looking for food and their needs. Their children couldn’t attend their school and colleges since last Friday. They are helpless and unable to do anything for themselves, while Christians around the country stood to become their voice but were severely beaten by police in Youhanabad and Kot Lakhpat, Lahore. There were protests in Islamabad/Rawalpindi as well. But Muslims of Jhelam City threaten to burn the Christians home like Joseph Colony Lahore, when they went to protest to show solidarity with other Christians.

 

According to sources, on March 12, 2013, when Christians of Jhelam city went to protest against the violence in Joseph Colony, chanting slogans “Repeal Blasphemy Law” and “Blasphemy law is Black Law”. The Islamists announced in Mosque loudspeakers to gather to punish those Christians who called Blasphemy law to be a black law during the protest. The radical Muslims pressured area police station to lodge First Investigation Report – FIR under 295-C PPC under blasphemy law against Christians who chanted slogans against blasphemy law.

 

Basharat Khokhar, a human rights activist told that there were around 26 Christian families living among Muslim masses, Machine 2 mahallah since partition. The local Christians arranged a protest to show their solidarity with the Christians of Joseph Colony, Lahore. And Mr. George Masih led the protest rally. They got permission from the District Police Officer (DPO) who provided them security. There were 250 people in the protest rally. The next day, Muslims demanded the police to arrest George Masih and to register FIRJoseph Francis - CLAAS Director Pakistan against him. The situation became tense in the city but fortunately the administration involved both the religious leadership and Joseph Francis [CLAAS Profile] from CLAAS [Introduction Page] intervened to solve the issue.

 

There is another mishap, according to Pastor Naeem Bhadhar, a Presbyterian missionary living in a village KALASWALA, Pasroor Road, district Sialkot, 140 km away from Lahore city. He told me on the telephone that he had arranged a protest rally in their city but today on 14th March, 2013, as he was travelling back to his village, a few radical Muslims from Jammat ut Dawa (a Muslim organization) [Background info HERE and HERE] had severely beaten him with sticks and broke his motor bike. He was injured and was taken to the hospital. There Pastor Bhadhar got 3 stitches on his left arm. They warned him if any one of the Christians came to protest they will kill them.

 

This is how peace loving Muslims treat Christians in Pakistan. It’s time to wake up and to raise a voice for the rights.   

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

______________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Source Links by JRH

 

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UMJI

 

 

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