Independence Day


August 14th commemorated Pakistan’s independence from British rule and the Muslim partition from India. Shamim Masih reflects on how this Independence Day has evolved for Pakistani Christians and other non-Sunni Muslims in general. Shamim does not say this specifically, but his description of the plight of Pakistani Christians is the result of Sharia Law and Islamic Supremacism.

JRH 8/16/15

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Independence Day

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 8/14/2015 11:51 AM

As a Sunni majority Pakistan is celebrating the 68th Independence Day, where religious minorities of the country are still living in fear. Pakistan came into being on the basis of the odd two nation theory. In spite of living together for centuries, the Hindus and the Muslims were unable to co-operate and co-exist with each other on the basis of religion. Thus the two nation theory was presented and pretended that there were two different nations living in the sub-continent, who have different religions, cultures and social values and back ground. And they can never merge with each other; whereas cultural and social values were mostly common other than religion. Therefore Muslim leaders demanded a separate homeland for them.

After years of struggle, Mohammad Ali Jinnah succeeded in getting a separate homeland for the Muslims of South Asia in 1947. On August 11, 1947. This was just three days prior to independence. Jinnah the founder of the country made a speech in the constitution assembly and called on Pakistanis not to interject religion into their public lives. The important role of minorities was enshrined in the national flag with a white bar. He said, you are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.

Now you see that the founding father has set other religions minorities’ free and mentioned that religion, caste or creed has nothing to do with the business of the State. But after two decades, an ideological state established in the name of Islam lost its east wing. East Pakistan emerged on the world map as Bangladesh. Unfortunately Pakistan is not independent in true spirit yet; certain mindset persons dominate and rule [the nation]. After the partition of Bangladesh [from the central government in the west], later Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto started discrimination with religious minorities. He declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims and managed to sideline the religious minorities nationalizing Christian’s educational and health institutions.

Later a military dictator Gen Zia made strict blasphemy laws and since then more than 1500 blasphemy cases were reported. Sources confirm that 51 blasphemy accused were murdered before their respective trials were over. How can Pakistan be truly called independent when its religious minorities suffer? Asia Bibi, mother of five, Sawan Masih and a Christian Couple in Gojra and many others are still suffering in jail from a death sentence accused of blasphemy cases. If the constitution gives equal rights to all citizens; why were Christian colonies like Shanty Nager, Sangla Hill, Gojra and Joseph Colony and a Church in Mardan city all set ablaze? The Christian couple was burnt alive and churches in Bhawalpur [or Bahawalpur], Peshawar and Youhanabad, Lahore were attacked where hundreds worshipers were killed and many were injured. Christians along with other minorities of Pakistan faces discrimination and persecution by the State and fellow citizens. They are routinely been accused of blasphemy and attacked or jailed. Their homes and worship places are burned down. Young girls are kidnapped, raped and forcefully converted to Islam and married.

Nazir S Bhatti, president Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) said Pakistan Christians are not free in a true sense, instead they are gone into slavery. They can’t worship freely and enjoy their life. He said rulers have bulldozed minorities’ basic rights and turned them into second class citizens of the country. Thus the independence day of the 14th August, does not represent a true spirit of freedom. Albert David, chairman Pakistan United Christian Moment (PUCM), while expressing his view on Independence Day said unfortunately the real freedom and real democracy could not prevail in the country. The government and private sector have failed to provide equal rights to minorities in Pakistan. We can even see the discrimination in the legislation. Top most offices in the country are banned for minority representatives. Doors of the President house, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Chief of Army Staff and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are closed for religious minorities.

During Ramadan, all restaurants and other coffee shops are closed, not only this no minority member can eat or drink in an open space. The law is extremely hypocritical and prejudiced not only on a social level, but also on a religious level. It has been preached and a guarantee of equal rights to minorities in [our] Islamic [nation] as well as the constitution of Pakistan. Then why are religious minorities deprived to eat in restaurants or at offices or any other public place? Why [enforce Islamic religious obligations on minorities if] it is not their religious duty to fast during Ramadan? Enforcing respect of Ramadan by an ordinance is a violation of human rights. [Can you agree that] it is not a violation of human rights? Now the time has come that the people of Pakistan and the government have to realize that religious observance is usually a personal matter, not an insurance plan.

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

Correspondent,

Pakistan Today, (About Pakistan Today)

Blogger and 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

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Edited by John R. Houk

Text or links embraced by brackets are by the Editor for an American reading audience.

© Shamim Masih

PCC demanded reforms in electoral system


Shamim Masih bottom left - Pakistan Christian Congress PCC Punjab Youth Conference Lahore

Shamim Masih bottom left – Pakistan Christian Congress PCC Punjab Youth Conference Lahore

 

 

Intro to ‘PCC demanded reforms in electoral system’

Editor: John R. Houk

By Shamim Masih

 

Shamim Masih writes about electoral and political representation for Pakistan’s minorities. At a recent Youth Conference under the auspices of the Pakistan Christian Congress the youth were told about the unfair representation and rallied them to support political reform.

 

Be sure to read Shamim’s news report on the PCC Youth Conference below. So that you get a picture of the unfair – and really unjust – electoral representation perpetrated against Pakistani minorities here is an excerpt from Persecution.org on how politics operate in Pakistan:

 

Religious Minorities Held Out of Pakistan’s Government by Corrupt Election Process

 

ICC Note:

 

Christians and other religious minority groups continue to be held out of Pakistan’s government by its complicated and corrupt election process. Minorities do not have the right to directly elect members of their communities to seats in Pakistan’s government that are specifically reserved for members of that community. Instead, these seats are filled by the controlling political parties who often sell the seats to the highest bidder. Unfortunately, this has meant that the seats reserved for Christians are often held by individuals who do not have the minority community’s best interest at heart. This has allowed official forms of persecution in Pakistan, like the country’s controversial blasphemy law, to continue to exist and be abused against Christians. Please pray that someday, Christians will be able to elect their own representatives to the Pakistani government.

 

12/16/2013 Pakistan (Daily Times [Blog Editor: This reference link is no longer operable.]) – Despite thunders and lighting by successive governments, there was no downpour for the religious minorities in Pakistan. They are not yet given the dual voting rights nor can they elect their own representatives.

 

According to the Constitution of Pakistan, only Muslim leaders of mainstream political parties can decide the fate of non-Muslim representatives in the assemblies, not the 2.78 million registered non-Muslim voters.

 

The assembly members on minority seats are “selected” after taking huge funds in the name of party funds, hence, only the well-off members billionaire enter the upper and lower houses, and not the ones who really intend to do something for their community.

 

Besides Hindus, the biggest religious minority community in the province, there are Christians (Roman Catholic and Protestants), Parsis, Sikhs, Ahmedis and even Bahais living in Sindh, but only the Hindus have representation in the provincial house.

 

According to the official data of the Election Commission of Pakistan, all the religious minorities constitute 2.78 million registered voters in Pakistan. Of them, 1.4 million are Hindus, followed by 1.24 million Christians, 115,966 Ahmedis, 5,934 Sikhs, 3,650 Parsis, 1,452 Buddhists and 809 Jews.

 

They all can contest elections on general seats, and can vote for Muslim candidates on general seats. But they cannot vote to their own minority candidates, which are supposed to represent them in the assemblies.

 

Though it was announced numerous times by the governments that religious minorities of Pakistan would be given right to dual vote, such right was not given in its letter and spirit. …

 

 

Their seats were converted into “reserved seats”-just like reserved seats for women. And the right to select who will represent minorities in the assembly was given to the political parties, not the minority voters.

 

 

… These seats are allocated to the parties in accordance with their priority list submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan. This means, one portion of the democratic assemblies is comprised on people’s representatives (the Muslim assembly members) as they get elected by the direct voting, whereas others, the women and minorities, are not elected by people, but are selected by the Muslim leadership of the mainstream political parties. Hence, the element of corruption enters into the “selection” of minority members. Anyone who wants to ensure his or her entry into the assemblies, he pays huge amounts to party leaders to get into the “priority list’ for minorities.

 

This “selection” process in fact is harming the community members. The so-called representatives, rather than working for the welfare of their communities’ and/or making legislation, get busy in minting money. (Excerpted from Persecution.org which posted on 12/16/13 9:43am)

 

 

JRH 5/1/14

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PCC demanded reforms in electoral system

PCC youth conference

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 4/29/2014 2:38 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Christian Congress, the oldest Christian political party re-organizing in Pakistan has demanded to bring reforms in the electoral system for minorities. Talking to the PCC Youth Conference, PCC chief said that government of Pakistan should take immediate corrective measures and should restore election system for minority candidates as well. Addressing the Youth Conference via video link, PCC chief Nazir S Bhatti demanded PML-N government to bring reforms in discriminatory laws including blasphemy law.

 

PCC chief organizer Farrukh H Saif said that we want the immediate increase in the minority seats. He said the present Christian parliamentarians are not our true representative rather they are official spokespersons. He said present electoral system for minorities is not democratic system. It adds bribery in a democratic system and opened doors for corruption in the country.

 

Parvez Iqbal, president PCC Holland Chapter, especially participated in the youth conference and encouraged [the] young [people] of the PCC struggling for their rights. The PCC youth welcomed the honorable guest and promised to work whole heartedly to achieve their goals.

 

Christian youth across the country has joined PCC and participated from different areas of the country. Other PCC youth leaders and representatives addressed the conference. 

   

PCC has been working for Christian rights and values since 1985 in the country and have been struggling against injustice, persecution and [Blasphemy] laws enforcement on the face of depressed and marginalized Christian community.    

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Edited by John R. Houk

Brackets indicate additions by the Editor 

 

© 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

 

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Threats – a Juvenile Prank or Serious Issue


Basharat Khokher - UNHCR Entrance

Shamim Masih writes about religious minorities fleeing Pakistan. Shamim enlightens us that after fleeing Pakistan their refugee status often is a harrowing experience in itself.

 

I added a couple of explanatory links that was not a part of Shamim’s original submission. As I was looking for further information I found some information I found interesting. I am going to add these as a kind of addendum after Shamim’s financial support information.

 

JRH 4/17/14

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Threats – a Juvenile Prank or Serious Issue

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 4/15/2014 10:34 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Religious persecution is not the only reason which compels Pakistanis to seek asylum elsewhere. Many a time, Pakistanis are forced to flee from their country because of their affiliation or lack of the same thoughts. I always wonder, was the country made only for single Muslim school of thought, who always attack on other faiths and threaten them to leave the country? No not, Pakistan is just as much a home to Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis and Shias and nobody has the right to expel anyone from their homeland. However, expulsion continues to take place at gun point and many a time over the lifeless bodies of loved ones. In fact we always think that misfortune always falls on other people and somehow we always stay away from such things until the violence strikes at our home.

 

I see many Pakistanis are seeking asylum in foreign countries and most of them instigate violence themselves and ignite the fury of others so that they can seek political or religious asylum in foreign countries. Many Christian families are living in UK, USA, Canada and other European countries. Seeking asylum is not easy and people who say that people do it deliberately should go to see, where many asylum seekers from different countries work day in and day out to feed their families. Seeing their faces will make you understand that what they have chosen has been the lesser of two evils as a last resort.

 

According to the sources, around 8000 families are seeking asylum in Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia. Most of the asylum seekers who leave Pakistan in hopes of a better and safer future reached destitute or have meager funds which only last for a very small period of time. Most of them have to accept odd jobs and work at less than minimum wage until their resident status is approved by the immigration authorities. But I don’t see any positive response from the authorities or United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The Colombo Gazette reported that there are around 600 Pakistani Christians that are currently seeking asylum in Sri Lanka.

 

Many of the families have sold their houses and lost their job in hopes of a better and safer future, told Basharat Khokher after his visit to Thailand, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. According to Basharat Khokhar some Human Right Champions are involved in human trafficking in the name of asylum in different countries. He condemns this act of Human Right Organization instead being supportive they are playing with their future. He said he met with many families there and now some of them are [desiring return] to rejoin their jobs, realizing the situation and bleak future.

 

He mentioned Pakistan European Christian Association – PECA and few others, I tried to call on the given number and have left messages but there is no response so far.

 

Nazir S Bhatti, President Pakistan Christian Congress – PCC have expressed his concern over the unprecedented delay shown by UNHCR offices in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand in processing applications for thousands of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers. The PCC chief appealed to UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon that cases of the Pakistani Christians in these countries be considered on a priority bases for refugee status. He said they are living in miserable human conditions for years and have been waiting for their applications to be considered.

 

Refugees have no right to work legally, and it is difficult to find employment, even in the informal sector. Most urban refugees in Thailand live a precarious existence: unable to work, often unable to send their children to school, they are typically financially stressed, dependent on ad-hoc charity to survive, at risk of exploitation and constantly worried about being arrested and indefinitely detained. Most of them reached there with a genuine passport and tourist visa. They are usually exhausted most of their savings to come to Thailand. Once their tourist visas expire, under Thai law, they are considered illegal migrants. As a result, they are at constant risk of arrest and extort refugees and then release them, but arrest can also result in indefinite detention. Pakistani Christians often face harassment and discrimination in churches from the Thai community. Many were unaware how difficult conditions would be in Thailand before they came, often having been misled by “agents or people-smugglers.”

 

Even if refugees obtain refugee status, their chances of being resettled outside of Thailand are not high, and they face serious ongoing protection problems while they remain in Thailand.

 

I left their shops and homes with a very heavy heart, fervently praying that Pakistan would once again become a tolerant and progressive society where people can enjoy equal rights.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

________________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Brackets indicate editorial additions of the Editor.

 

© 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

 

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.

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
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Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527

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FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
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Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         00010855
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Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
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Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
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Another exodus of refugees from Pakistan

 

BANGKOK – It has been a year since 14-year-old Samantha moved with her parents, elder sister and elder brother to Bangkok. She still does not clearly understand why they left their home in Lahore and moved to Thailand. All she knows is that her father was in trouble back in their hometown and some bad people wanted to kill him to avenge what they said was his unruly behaviour and remarks that he supposedly made at his workplace that resulted in a fight. In Bangkok she spends her time playing games on computer and playing with a large number of young children also from Pakistan and some Thai children that also live in the same compound. She has picked up a number of Thai words and proudly claims to be an expert in conversation with local Thai people.

Talking to this scribe the other day Samantha said she was very happy but missed her school. “Uncle nothing has changed as we eat the same Pakistani food and go to church every Sunday. I am leader among the youngsters here and they all call me deedi (elder sister),” she proudly said.

The scribe has been living with Pakistani families seeking asylum and refugee status in Thailand for more than two weeks. …  This report, however, is just based on findings in Thailand where these people are referred to as urban refugees and are mostly living in the suburbs of Bangkok.

 

Pakistani Christians in the last two years have moved in large numbers to Thailand. The problems they face at the hands of extremists are just beginning of their ordeal. Their first test comes at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad airports. They are asked hefty amounts to board the plane by immigration officials. On average one family of four people pay $800 to $1,000 for embarking on the plane. Mrs Sarfaraz Jacob who moved from Lahore in January with her daughter, son and daughter-in-law was offloaded for not paying the bribe. The next day she again tried and was able to negotiate their exit for $800. The officials do not take bribe in rupees and demand payment only in dollars. “I pleaded with them that the money I had was my pension and gratuity of public sector service as a teacher. They paid no heed to my requests and said I was going to seek asylum abroad,” she said. Interestingly all the travel documents and visas of these people are genuine and the authorities have no right to stop them.

 

When they arrive in Bangkok the real test begins. After filing for asylum they have to wait for nearly three to four months for call from UNHCR. They are given asylum seeking certificates. But during this period they are at risk of getting caught by local police as their visas expire after two months. They have to pay hefty amounts as bribe to cops to escape detention. After getting asylum seeking certificates then begins the wait for second call for interview which usually comes after one year, 18 months or after two years. During this period if they fall sick they can be treated at some designated hospitals after getting clearance from Bangkok Refugee Centre (from where they also get medicines for common diseases and illnesses). BRC medical unit is …

 

During the period of their application if some person falls sick and dies it becomes very difficult to bury the dead. A child of one Javed died soon after birth. It cost 1,800 bhat to get him buried. No welfare organisation helped in the burial. Sharoon Gill was a civil engineer in Pakistan. His mother passed away last December after renal failure due to depression and loneliness. His mother’s body was cremated and sent to Pakistan for burial. “My daughter and son were school going in Pakistan. Their only complaint was of not wearing uniform and attending school. They would look at Thai children in envy and used to ask me when they would go to school. Thank God now they attend school as I and my wife teach at this refugee school,” he revealed. There is donor fatigue and the local churches have also stopped supporting the asylum seekers and refugees.

 

Life is not easy for those who leave Pakistan and dream of finding peace again. Bangkok is an expensive city and they have to look after themselves for nearly three years before their refugee process is complete and they may be given the option to settle in third country by the UNHCR. They have to pay for food and lodgings. The last ordeal comes when they are ready to leave Thailand. According to local law the family must live in Immigration Detention Centre for seven days before leaving. They can escape detention by paying fine of 20,000 bhat each.

 

 

“In Thailand there are about 120,000 refugees in nine camps. Then there are about 1,000 Rohingyas. For the urban refugees we have to differentiate between asylum seekers and refugees. All asylum seekers seek refugee status but not all get that. We do individual refugee determination, which is also why it takes so long even after they get registered. It is a very intensive process. You get called in for first interview. Then it is very in-depth process, where we find out as to why did the person leave his home country.

 

 

Considering the situation it is high time for the Pakistan government to take up this issue and end the woes of minorities and ethnic groups who are persecuted by extremists in the name of religion or for their own vested interests. The solution to Pakistani refugees’ problems needs to be explored by the Pakistan government to end their medical insurance exploitation. (Another exodus of refugees from Pakistan; By EMANUEL SARFRAZ; The Nation; 3/19/14)

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PAKISTAN: Legalising prostitution — the Wisdom of the UN?!

 

According to a research, modern day trafficking, aka slavery is a $32 billion annual industry and according to the U.N. about 2.5 million people around the world are ensnared in the web of human trafficking at any given time.  The usual victims of atrocious crimes of sexual and gender based violence, including rape against women & girls (young, adolescents and teen) are poor, uneducated, rural and trafficked ones.

 

 

… According to a news report published in the Express Tribune (Pakistan) on 24, February 2014, the country may join the group of some 44 countries already on the ‘Tier 2 Watch List’ as human trafficking is rising in the country at an alarming level – the number of most-wanted human traffickers in the country has jumped from 89 to 141 in the last four years.

 

 

Ps: I want to quote Ms.Nasreen Azher, former member of the National commission on the status of Women, a renowned and highly respected woman rights activist of Pakistan who while responding to my email on this issue to some important human rights, child rights and women rights network in Pakistan wrote “I agree Rakhshanda. That the UN is even considering legalizing prostitution is outrageous. It shows how the market is ruling the world and corrupting human values and causing human suffering. The pimps, exploiters and, of course, the traffickers, as well as  those who buy sexual services should be penalized.  Thanks for sharing. Regards.Nasreen” (PAKISTAN: Legalising prostitution — the Wisdom of the UN?! By Dr.Rakhshinda Perveen; Asian Human Rights Commission; 3/25/14)

 

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REPORT: AT LEAST 700 CHRISTIAN WOMEN FORCED INTO ISLAMIC MARRIAGES YEARLY IN PAKISTAN

 

A new report reveals that at least 700 Christian women are kidnapped and forced into conversion to Islam and Islamic marriages in Pakistan each year.

 

According to the Fides agency, the Solidarity and Peace Movement, a coalition of non-governmental organizations, associations, and institutions, including the Justice and Peace Commission of the Pakistani Bishops, has prepared the alarming report. The report also revealed that about 300 Hindu women experience the same fate each year in Pakistan.

 

The authors of the “Forced Marriages and Forced Conversions in the Christian Community of Pakistan” report have cautioned, however, that the number of women cited is the official number of reported cases; “the true extent of the problem is probably much bigger, since many cases are not reported.”

 

The report explains that the Christian and Hindu women cited are between the ages of 12 and 25, from poor families and lower social classes. Many of the kidnappings are never filed as complaints due to fear of threats. In the cases that do make it to court, the women are often abused and intimidated, then claim they have converted and married freely, leading to the dismissal of these cases.

 

“Under the custody of the kidnapper, she may suffer sexual violence, forced prostitution, domestic abuse and beatings, if not human trafficking,” the report notes.

 

… (REPORT: AT LEAST 700 CHRISTIAN WOMEN FORCED INTO ISLAMIC MARRIAGES YEARLY IN PAKISTAN; By DR. SUSAN BERRY; wahdat News; 4/11/14)   

Ethnic Prejudice


Shamim Masih at PCC Meeting

Pakistan’s government institutions are as culpable of Christian persecution as the radical Muslim Islamic Supremacists. Shamim Masih reports there is a government design of urban renewal targeting Christians of the Capital city Islamabad living in slums. Urban renewal may sound like progress but the ultimate result will make Pakistani Christians already dwelling tenuously in Islamabad’s slums a displaced people of homeless individuals.

 

JRH 3/23/14

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Ethnic Prejudice

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 3/22/2014 10:19 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Slum dwellers of Islamabad live in the poverty line, they lack the basic necessities of life such as health, education and shelter. They live in houses made of mud and some of them are a mixture of bricks and mud. Around 10 percent of them live in houses made of cement and bricks. Many of the houses are made in a way they can be easily flooded with rain. Houses consist of a single room which fulfills the requirement of a bed room, kitchen and a dining room as well. The electricity supply is pathetic in the area. There is an unavailability of purified water and an open drainage [sewage] system. Clearly this shows that hygiene is maintained in the area at a zero level.

 

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) carried out a detailed survey of the capital to gather the data of the slums. With [this data collection the CDA] has decided to demolish at least a dozen slums in Islamabad but did not mention any resettlement plan or compensation for the helpless dwellers. According to the sources on the direction of CDA chairman, notices had been issued to the slum dwellers of sectors G-7/1, G-7/2, G-7/3, G-8/1, F-7/4 and F-6 to vacate their houses. The CDA has asked for help from IESCO, SNGPL and FIA to help it carry out a grand operation against the dwellers in Islamabad. Sources informed that the slum dwellers who reside in the slums of G-7/1, G-7/2, G-7/3, G-8/1, H-11/4, F-7/4 and F-6 have been warned through public notices the slums would be demolished between March 24 and April 30, 2014. According to the notice, the CDA would demolish all these structures and the dwellers would be responsible for any sort of risk involved.

 

The leftist community of the capital city has announced this operation as an attack on the fundamental rights of thousands of working-class people who live in the capital’s slums. Nazir S Bhatti chief of Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) strongly condemned this action and is determined to strongly resist the CDA’s plan. He said that Christians are being singled out in part because of ethnic prejudice. While CDA Estate member Shaista Sohail said that the civic agency had been directed by the ministry of interior to clear the illegally occupied lands from the slum dwellers, particularly to lessen security risks. It is to be noted that the Islamabad High Court’s Justice Shoukat Aziz Siddique had directed CDA to clear the slum settlements from the capital within a month in order to ensure the security of the city.

 

The human rights activist Basharat Khokhar visited CDA senior management and was assured by the CDA officials to provide foolproof security to slum dweller Christians of the capital. Amir Ahmad Ali – member admin – assured that the CDA is not going to demolish any Christian katchi abadi in the capital.

  

Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar has led the charge for a crackdown. He singled the katchi abadis out as possible militant havens soon after his party, the Pakistan Muslim League (PML- N) came to power last summer. It is pertinent to mention here that most of the inhabitants in these slums are Christians who have lived in these slums in deplorable conditions for a long time. Shamim Masih (secretary information PCC) said that the CDA has different policies for working class people living in the slums and those living in the superior sectors of the capital.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

_________________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Bracketed content is added by the Editor

 

© 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

 

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.

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        70008227
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        00010855
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527
IBAN #
                                       pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        10847
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527
IBAN #
                                       pk80jsbl9530000000405227 Bottom of Form

 

 

Christians Persecuted in Pakistan – Shamim Masih Reports


Pakistan Injustice - Blasphemy Law

John R. Houk

© March 11, 2014

 

This news on the persecution of Pakistani-Christians is a bit of an update from the post “High-handed Leadership”. There are tidbits of new information in the whole article; however the portion I placed in bold print is information not found in “High-handed Leadership”.

 

Friends there is persecution of Christians in Muslim dominated nations. In the West only now there has been a trickle of information coming to our ears of places like the Coptics in Egypt and other Eastern Rite Churches in Syria and Iraq. BUT STILL we hear little about the persecution that has been ongoing for decades now of Pakistani-Christians.

 

One case that has gained notoriety in the USA the incarceration of Asia (also Aasia) Bibi for the accusation of breaking Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law in June 2009. Asia Bibi has languished in jail to this day in 2014 and has faced a death sentence for a conviction. Here is a good excerpt of her so-called nefarious crime:

 

I, Asia Bibi, have been sentenced to death because I was thirsty. I’m a prisoner because I used the same cup as those Muslim women, because water served by a Christian woman was regarded as unclean by my stupid fellow fruit-pickers.

 

Picking fruit with a group of Muslim women, Bibi was ordered to fetch water for them – and drank a bit of it herself in the stifling heat. A Muslim woman rebuked her for doing so, saying to the other women: “Listen, all of you, this Christian has dirtied the water in the well by drinking from our cup and dipping it back several times. Now the water is unclean and we can’t drink it! Because of her!”

 

Bibi stood up to her, responding: “I think Jesus would see it differently from Mohammed.” That drove the Muslim women into a fury, and they started yelling at Bibi: “How dare you think for the Prophet, you filthy animal!” That’s right, you’re just a filthy Christian! You’ve contaminated our water and now you dare speak for the Prophet! Stupid bitch, your Jesus didn’t even have a proper father, he was a bastard, don’t you know that. You should convert to Islam to redeem yourself for your filthy religion.”

 

The embattled woman stood her ground, responding: “I’m not going to convert. I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind? And why should it be me that converts instead of you?”

 

Several days later, she was arrested for blasphemy as an enraged mob beat her and screamed, “Death! Death to the Christian!” She has been in prison ever since, awaiting execution for her “crime.” (The Hypocrisy of the Western Christian Response to Muslim Persecution of Christians; By ROBERT SPENCER; PJ Media; 1/6/14)

 

Can you imagine the hysteria in 21st century USA if a Black person was beat up for drinking out of a White’s only water fountain? That kind of junk was the height of prejudicial discrimination in the American post-Civil War South that – Thank God – the Civil Rights movement ended that. Asia Bibi has been in the slammer in Pakistan since 2009 living on thin ice wondering if an execution or a pardon will come her way. You have to realize though, the American media has forgotten Asia Bibi. You only hear of Asia these days via Christian anti-persecution organizations and the less read media sources such as PJ Media which I excerpted above. (Voice of the Martyrs’ Persecution Blog seems to be following Asia Bibi. As of this writing the latest update there in 2/12/14. If click HERE you can go to a VOM link that is tagged Asia Bibi.)

 

The next most notable case making headlines in the USA was the Blasphemy charge against a young Pakistani girl named Rimsha Masih (Shamim Masih was involved in reporting this case).

 

In 2012, Rimsha Masih, a young Christian girl, was arrested for alleged blasphemy in Islamabad.

 

The case provoked international concern because of her age, estimated at 14, and because she was variously described as “uneducated” or suffering from Down’s syndrome.

 

The charges against here were eventually thrown out and last June she fled to Canada with her family. (British man sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan; By AFP; Engineering Evil cross posted from The Telegraph; 1/24/14)

 

Rimsha and family fled to Canada to escape Islamic Supremacist retribution. The village she lived at in Pakistan is a typical occurrence in Pakistan that almost never receives media attention in the USA; viz. Rimsha’s Christian home town fled to wherever they could hide in Pakistan for being a community that had a person accused of blaspheming living there.

 

Release partners say that Christians forced to flee from their homes during the Rimsha Masih (also known as Rimsha Misrik) blasphemy row are still homeless – and increasingly desperate.

 

Between 800 and 1,000 families from Mehrabad are still living in tents or makeshift shelters in a forest area near Islamabad, more than a year after fleeing their homes. They lack even basic services such as water and fear officials may soon move them on.

 

Release sources say the Christians still fear retaliatory attacks from Islamist extremists enraged by the blasphemy accusations made against Rimsha, a teenager with learning difficulties, in August 2012. (PAKISTAN – CHRISTIANS IN RIMSHA’S VILLAGE STILL HOMELESS AND FEARFUL; Release – voice of persecuted Christians; 11/20/13)

 

Shamim Masih tackles the extreme injustice Pakistani-Christians face on a daily basis. Shamim shares the Good News of Jesus Christ, acts in a ministry basis in charity work, he is a journalist AND importantly Shamim has stepped into the hazardous role of being a Christian activist in the Sharia Law ruled Pakistan.

 

Below Shamim’s article is some information on how you can support the work that Shamim does which is risky business. Please consider sending him some money to help pay the bills while he does the work that even many Missionaries from the USA are loathe to do.

 

JRH 3/11/14

Please Support NCCR

******************************

No More Worship Place for Pagan

Under Construction Church Bulldozed

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent 3/10/2014 12:30 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Islamic invaders are so strong in Pakistan that they sometime challenge the government; Lal Masjid operation is one of the big examples in the Capital.  Since General Zia brought in rules and regulations which were supposed to bring Pakistani law more in tune with the Sharia, or at least the Sharia as interpreted by him and his cohorts; these laws, which included the infamous blasphemy law, had a long term impact on Pakistan’s minorities. Since then there has been a steady rise in incidents involving attacks on Christians. Persecution and attacks on religious minorities on a regular basis is being reported. Christians of Chak ¾ -L, Okara Pakistan had started construction of Church on the land donated by Akber Masih (Christian resident) of the area. They had hardly constructed walls and at the main gate they placed the sign of CROSS. As soon as soon as the Muslims saw the cross, Islamic invaders came and bulldozed the under construction church. They used a tractor to pull down the boards that held sacred Bible verses. Human rights activists intervene and lodged an FIR with police under section 295-A and 506 – B against the culprits.

 

Sohail Johnson, chairman Sharing Life Ministries Pakistan talking on the phone said that the invaders backing up the local politician have not been arrested so far. He reported that Mehr Abdul Sittar, ex-candidate for provisional assembly from Pakistan People’s Party – PPP has a strong hold in the area and protecting the accused. He said that Saif Ullah Doger, DCO has assured to arrest culprits and to bring them before the court but nothing is being done so far. Instead officials threaten the local Christians. He urged the local government to take strict action against them; he demands the officials to take concrete steps to ensure protection of minorities in the country.

 

Meanwhile Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, president PCC sent a team of his group to look into the matter. The PCC team reached there and will report to him the progress made and necessary action taken. PCC chief said that Pakistan is going through a crucial time; in this situation such hate crimes weaken the foundations of Unity, faith and deplane; the core values of the founding father.  

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

_________________________

Christians Persecuted in Pakistan – Shamim Masih Reports

John R. Houk

© March 11, 2014

__________________________

No More Worship Place for Pagan

 

Edited by John R. Houk

 

© 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

 

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.

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         00010855
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         10847
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

 

 

 

PCC takes Stringer on Board to Strengthen Community


Shamim Masih

Dr. Nazir S Bhatti the President of the Pakistan Christian Congress has “nominated” Shamim Masih to the position of Central Secretary of Information for the political party in Pakistan. I placed the word “nominated” in quotes because that suggests a number of candidates for the position. The wording of the notification seems to indicate that Shamim has the job. If I am correct and Shamim actually has the position Central Secretary of Information I offer my heartfelt congratulations for a good Christian man that loves the Lord Jesus Christ and imparts the love of God to the Christians of Pakistan persecuted by Muslims.

 

JRH 3/8/14

Please Support NCCR

*********************************

PCC takes Stringer on Board to Strengthen Community

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 3/7/2014 12:51 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Christians are facing various issues for the last two decades. Discriminatory laws, abduction and marriages ends in force conversion are major concerns need to be addressed through political will with the government. Within Christian community, lack of coordination has created gapes which must be cared by vision.

 

Pakistan Christian Congress, a political party founded by Dr. Nazir S Bhatti in 1985 to safeguard and advocate the social, religious and political rights of Christians in Pakistan. Since its inauguration, the founder took belligerent steps to achieve its goals. The chief had taken tough decision and shifted to US but struggling hard to reorganize the structure. In this process, he took prominent names on board.

 

Nazir S Bhatti, President PCC has nominated Shamim Masih, well known journalist and human rights activist. Shamim was born in Sheikhopura district, 25 miles from Lahore and raised in Gujranwala, Punjab province in Pakistan. He is highly qualified and has diverse working experience includes banking and finance; serving as a social worker/counselor in interfaith harmony, Christian Solidarity activism and as a writer and author.

 

Presently he is working with leading group of paper in Islamabad covering the key areas. PCC chief congratulated him on joining the key position as Central Secretary Information. The PCC team welcomed him and hopes that PCC will prove its strength with its addition. 

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

_______________________________

© 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

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.

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        70008227
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                        
MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
       
MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                       
JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
               
JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
       
00010855
Title Of a/c
                               
Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
               
405527
IBAN #
                                       
pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                        
MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
       
MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                       
JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
               
JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
       
10847
Title Of a/c
                               
Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
               
405527
IBAN #
                                       
pk80jsbl9530000000405227