Remembering the Martyrs’ of All Saint Church Peshawar


All Saint Church Peshawar Victims 9-22-13

All Saint Church Peshawar Victims 9/22/13

Just a little more than a year ago two Islamic terrorists committed homicidal suicide at a Pakistani Church so old it was built during the old British Raj of India. Shamim Masih writes a remembrance article about the hundreds of Christians that were killed in the name of Islam.

 

JRH 9/28/14

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Remembering the Martyrs’ of All Saint Church Peshawar

Remembering Islamic Terrorism in Pakistan Church

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 9/26/2014 9:36 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: It was sunny morning when I reached in Lahore on 22nd September, 2013; I received the phone call from my friend, he told that All Saints Church Peshawar is under the attack. As soon as I switched on the TV there was breaking news saying there was two suicide attackers struck at the end of the services at All Saints Church Peshawar. It was the deadliest attack that the Christian community had ever experienced in the history of the country. This attack had left the Christian community shocked and shattered which left 127 people dead and hundreds injured.

 

After one year Christian community around the country gathered there to offer special prayer and paid tributes to the victims of the twin suicide bombing who had lost their lives at All Saints Church Peshawar.  People are gathered to commemorate the first anniversary of the horrible suicide bombings at All Saints Church, Peshawar.

 

Bishop Azad Marshall, Bishop of Iran and Gulf went to All Saints Church Peshawar to stand along with the survivors. According toBishop Azad Marshal in Peshawar Shahzad Gill the chaplain to Rt. Rev Dr. Azad Marshall, there were gathering of 4000 people who joined hands in sharing the body of Christ at All Saints Church, Peshawar. Talking to the gathering Bishop Azad Marshall said that after one year of the incident that pain and agony hangs on; souls have [been] scarred for life but we have hope in Christ. The attack was not on the Christians of the Peshawar but also an attack on humanity. We will continue our struggle for a just and equitable Pakistan, he added. He demanded the authorities to ensure the safety and protection of the religious minorities as enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan.

 

Observing the first anniversary of the Peshawar church attack; chairman PUCM Albert David said all political parties are united in the war against terrorism and supportive to promote peace building in the country. Speaking at the Remembrance service followed by the candlelight vigil he said we as PUCM stress for a collective effort to promote the soft image of Pakistan through a peaceful and harmonized co-existence at home. Expressing solidarity with Christians Marching in Memory Peshawar Church bombingfamilies of the victims, he said that though wounds have healed however the scars remain and remind us of the tragic incident even.

                                                  

Muslim Christians Unity forum also arranged candle light vigil to pay tribute to the martyrs of the September 22, 2013 bomb blast at the All Saints Church Peshawar. Basharat Khokhar, a social activist said that federal and provincial government made many promises but nothing is being delivered so far. He targeted the Christian leadership and said political leadership is the representative of their political mother parties. They do not represent Christian minority but to their Muslim mother party.

      

The small and largely impoverished Christian community suffers discrimination intolerably [among the] Muslim majority [in] Pakistan. And nobody cares about it. 

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

_______________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All links by Editor – All text bracketed by Editor

 

© Shamim Masih

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We Need Visionary Leaders


Albert David

Albert David

 

Intro to ‘We Need Visionary Leaders’

Edited by John R. Houk

July 8, 2014

 

This is not the first time Shamim Masih has written about corruption and/or political inactivity of leaders who claim to represent the Christian minority in Pakistan. In this report Shamim contrasts the failed subservient leadership of Julius Salik with Pakistani Christian leader Albert David the Chairman of the Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM).

 

Most of what I discovered on Julius Salik is in a positive manner pertaining to Christian activism in Pakistan. Shamim’s can be summed up in this paragraph:

 

There was something ironic about 11 August this year. I saw the biggest joker of Christian rights in Pakistan Julius Salik join the election campaign of Advocate Ashraf Gujjar for NA 48. Yes he is the same Gujjar who garland Mumtaz Qadri and who feels he must be released. He is the same Mumtaz, who took law into his own hands and killed Salman Taseer before his blasphemous guilt could be proved. This is an ugly side of one of our leaders who is a self-proclaimed champion of human rights while he has done nothing practically for their rights. I found Basharat Khokhar better helping Christians in Islamabad then this leader. J Salik arranged commiseration for Qazi Husain Ahmad after his death but not spoken a single word for Shahbaz Bhatti. Qazi Husain Ahmad was the chief of Jammet e Islami – JI, a fundamentalist religious organization. (Bold Print MineConstitution Avenue Will Remain Quiet Until you Sleep; By Shamim Masih; Salem-News.com; 8/26/13)

 

Here are some glowing words about Albert David from a 2012 post:

 

 

Unfortunately many so called Christian leaders are still shaking their tails behind them, thus not knowingly they became the part of it. I have been writing for the need of unity among Christians of Pakistan. Years back I asked J. Salik (Ex. Federal Minister), Col. (R) S K Tressler (Ex. Federal Minister), and Prof. Mushataq Victor (late) (Ex. Federal Minister), to unite Pakistani Christians, but they have been playing their own cards for own sake.

 

 

I along with many other social and political activists have been desperately looking for someone who could conscientiously lead the Christian nation with conviction, determination and above all love and care. Albert apparently ticks all these boxes but will have to convince and prove through his actions only then he would be able to muster support for the new political initiative “PAKISTAN UNITED CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT (PUCM)” [SlantRight Editor: PUCM on Facebook] that he and his team have announced to launch.

 

… READ ENTIRETY (Shamim Masih Emails; email – Chosen Vessel of Christ: Albert David; By Shamim Masih; SlantRight 2.0; posted 11/19/12 – email 10/25/12)

 

JRH 7/8/14

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We Need Visionary Leaders

We Need Wise Leaders and Wise Followers

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 7/7/2014 1:31 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Let us not talk of an ideal condition but there should be a balance and fair situation. We fool ourselves if we think we can hide behind masks and maintain a double personality. All insincerities will kick back.  They will come back to haunt us and make our true intentions plain for the entire world to see. Since my school life, I have been following former federal minister Julius Salik, then he was elected member of the parliament for the first time. I ran his election campaign, seeing him as a revolutionary leader but once he became a legislator, he neither brought reforms nor took solid steps to strengthen the community, so I stopped following him.

 

Currently there is a battery of Christian social and political leaders on the horizon currently, some have been there for decades but with a blank list of achievements, some from the most recent past have a tainted record with vested interests, and some are emerging as fresh blood, energetic, clear vision and not only aware of the socio-political issues of non-Muslims in the country but also an intellect approach towards their solution. Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves; on the other hand, some of us overestimate ourselves. However the key is an honest and accurate evaluation. When our leaders at any level are accused, discredited, denounce and charged with failure the word “impeach” begins to emerge. If a leader unable to do what he was placed in office to do by election or appointment, he becomes worthless and useless, this is a situation when public impeachment should be considered.

 

I could be wrong, but what I have seen during the last decade, a majority of Pakistani Christian leadership political, social or religious is self-centered. Reforming or leading a nation is not a game for armatures, it needs solid commitment, professional attitude combined with a national and international exposure and ability to represent the masses at all levels. When I look around there are a very few personalities that fit into the above criteria and one example I would like to share is Albert David MBE, Chairman of Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM). Albert has a proven and accomplished professional background, national and international exposure and experience of dealing with human rights issues, a strong grip over and awareness of socio-political issues whether related to the religious minorities or the country’s national issues and above all a vision and road map for non-Muslim Pakistanis to integrate into the national main stream, political and social. Albert strongly believes in social harmony and cohesion and advocates nationalism. I had a chance of going through his profile and would like to share a few of his achievements:

 

o   He is the first Pakistani Christian to be conferred MBE (Honorary Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in recognition for outstanding services and contribution on issue of forced marriages.

 

o   He was invited by the White House as representative of Pakistani Christians for breakfast with President Barak Obama, an annual event to promote interfaith harmony between different religions in Feb, 2014.

 

o   A speaker and panelist at News Week’s conference “Women in World”, New York 2012, where he shared the stage with Foreign Secretary, Hillary Clinton and Angelina Jolie.

 

o   He was also the speaker and panelist on a debate jointly organized by BBC World service trust and BBC Urdu on the issue of forced marriages, honor killings and Gender Equality.

 

Locally he has served as the Member of the Provincial Minority Advisory Council, actively involved in the campaign against torture, a vibrant role in the promotion of child rights and leading on the advocacy campaign for Pakistan to accede to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Child Abductions. Another of Albert’s achievements was his role in signing of a Protocol between Judiciaries of Pakistan and UK on the issue of Child Abductions.

 

Along with the above mentioned and a very clear political agenda of prosperity coupled with intellectual thinking and prolific speaking skills in a number of languages, In my opinion he is emerging as one the more capable non-Muslim political leaders in Pakistan.

 

America and the West have a policy of ignoring the persecution of the Christians claiming it to be an internal affair but for some reason focus on individuals, however these individuals do not present a true picture here. Some local Christian politicians, civil rights activists and religious leaders have been making money on the pretext of safeguarding minority rights but these financial resources are being used in getting positions in other political parties and for their vest interests instead of spending those funds for achieving Christian prosperity.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

__________________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

 

© Shamim Masih

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Electoral Injustice- Minorities Waiting for Reformation


Albert David

 

Shamim Masih writes about the unjust representation of non-Muslims in Pakistan. Pakistan’s electoral system is set-up to favor the Islamic Supremacism of Sharia Law to the detriment of the political rights of Pakistani Non-Muslims and/or Pakistani Non-Sunni Muslims. The existence of this unjust political representation undoubtedly contributes to the Sunni Muslim majority to persecute Christians with impunity.

 

JRH 10/20/13

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Electoral Injustice- Minorities Waiting for Reformation

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 10/18/2013 2:34 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Check out the biggest leftist hypocrisy in Pakistan, remarkably highlighted by Albert David Chairman Pakistan United Christian Movement [PUCM See Here].

  

In political terms the local governments are known as the nursery of politics where new entrants to politics get trained, gain experience and take bigger strides to play their role at the National level. However it appears that by introducing two different electoral systems for Non-Muslims in the upcoming local government elections they are being made victims of yet another political injustice.

 

All Four provinces have announced their own preferred local bodies systems and apparently it looks like they have opted for a joint electoral system where as non-Muslims will be given representation on reserved seats through indirect elections.

 

Let’s look at the Punjab Local Government Bill 2013.  The composition of a Union Council will include elected Chairman and Vice Chairman, five other directly elected members on the basis of adult franchise followed by three indirectly elected members, including one each representing the Non-Muslims, women and labor/peasants on reserved seats. The will be elected by the directly elected seven members. A similar prototype is to be followed for representation of Non-Muslims at the District Council and Urban local government levels.

 

Another concerning issue in the Bill that affects Non-Muslims is that only those Union Councils will have a Non-Muslim member where the number of registered Non-Muslim voters is 500 or more. This could lead into a situation where approx. 50% of Union Councils will have no Non-Muslim representation.

 

Though joint electoral system was introduced to bring Non-Muslims into the main stream of politics however we must admit that socially we are still in an evolution phase where it is acceptable to get the votes from Non-Muslims however voting for a Non-Muslim candidate will take years of political, social and cultural change or in other words development.

 

The electoral system imposed by dictator General Parvaiz Musharaf for Non-Muslims at the National and Provincial level is already keeping Non-Muslim politicians away from the race as the existing ones have the tools, contacts and resources to secure the confidence of their masters and secure access to the legislative institutions. It does not matter if they have any commitment or ever wish to access the masses they represent. These so called representatives never feel accountable to the ones they represent as they are not elected by them.

 

The proposed provincial LG electoral system is another step, the final nail in the coffin; politically the Non-Muslims are out, end of game, in Wimbledon term, game, set and match. Once again the same story will be repeated, people with resources and more importantly contacts with their masters will select their own people as the representatives at the grass root levels too. I see this as an attempt to make the Non-Muslims politically infertile.

        

However the interesting factor is that the elections in the 43 Cantonment Boards have been proposed on the “Separate” electorate system, where Non-Muslims voters will vote for Non-Muslim candidates as members/councilors. Isn’t this a political mockery, the provincial governments opting for a Joint electoral system and Federal Government (Cantonment Boards are governed by Federal Government) preferring a “Separate Electoral System”. But maintaining a Joint Electoral system at the national and provincial level.

 

The demand to elect their own representatives has been gaining momentum over the recent years and if the Provincial or Federal governments ever made an effort to explore the preferred electoral system, I am confident the majority of the minority (Non-Muslim Pakistanis) will opt for the separate electoral system. Separate elections is a popular demand among Non-Muslims however not sure if a priority for the law makers to look into this.

 

Whatever the conclusion may be Pakistan United Christian Movement rejects the proposed electoral system for the Non-Muslims in upcoming the local government elections and demands that Non-Muslim voters should be given the right to elect their own representatives by their own votes. I wish that the Federal Government goes ahead with the proposed separate electoral system for Cantonment boards

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

______________________

© Shamim Masih

Edited by John R. Houk

 

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Pakistani Christian community celebrates Equality Day on August 11


Tahir Naveed Chaudhry & Shamim Masih

Tahir Naveed Chaudhry & Shamim Masih

 

Shamim writes about minorities and the Christian minority in particular celebrating Minority Day under a different name in a form of a protest and calling it Equality Day. The Islamic government did not publicly celebrate Minority Day because it fell during the Muslim festival of Eid.

 

JRH 8/12/13

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Christian community celebrates Equality Day on August 11.

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 8/12/2013 7:03 AM

 

The Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM) is celebrating the Equality Day instead Minorities Day in Rawalpindi where leaders of minorities from Pakistan participated.

 

The leaders present a paper on how minorities are being targeted by the extremists in Pakistan, when we are equal citizen of the country, they said.

 

The government had declared August 11 as minorities’ day in 2009 by the efforts of then minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti who was shot dead in the country’s capital in 2011.

 

The day signifies Quaid-e-Azam’s speech to Constituent Assembly on August 11 1947 in which he had said, “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

 

The government is in no mood of celebrating minorities’ day.

 

However, Information Minister Pervez Rashid said that the day was falling during Eid holidays.

 

“Though Pakistan is going through a testing time—but minorities are on our priority list,” he added.

 

Talking to the gathering at Christian Study Centre – CSC Albert David, Chairman PUCM criticized the government declaring them a second class citizen in the country. Minorities have been ignored by the current government. August 11 was not only a day where Christians were especially made part of the whole nation, but a clear and wider picture was given to the members of the Constituent Assembly, he added.

 

Tahir Naveed Chaudhry Ex-MPA has launched a new political party on minorities’ day, 11 August. Talking to the media at the launching ceremony of Pakistan Minority Alliance- PMA he said that he will continue the struggle of Shaheed Shanbaz Bhatti, who played his role for Pakistani Minorities. I am the true follower of the Shahbaz Bhatti (late) and will continue the mission he started, he said.

 

Samuel Yaqoob chairman Muslim Masihi Ithad has protested on this day outside the Press Club Islamabad. He claimed that we have the equal rights according to the founders’ speech but the religious extremists are trying to draw a line between citizens of the country. 

 

Minority Day Protest - Simon Yaqoob - Muslim Masihi Ittehad 8-11-13

 

On behalf of British Pakistani Christian Association BPCA, Shamim Masih, a journalist and representative of BPCA in Pakistan held a meeting with leaders from the key faith in Lahore and an agreement was made for a peace mural to be incorporated at Joseph Colony Badami Bagh, Lahore. 

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

________________________

Edited by John R. Houk. All links are for information and added by the editor. Shamim sent three versions of this post and I chose the one with the extra paragraph. Some of this information can be found in greater detail at the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) blog under the title, “Newly Elected Pakistani Government refuses to celebrate state celebration termed “Minorities day,” as it would tarnish Islamic Eid Celebrations!

 

© Shamim Masih

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Albert David Working for Unity among Pakistani Christians


Albert David speaking - Church 2012

John R. Houk

© December 28, 2012

 

Albert David is a Pakistani-Christian activist and Chairman of the Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM). PUCM is a political party dedicated to upgrade the social and community status of Pakistani Christians that have for the most part lived under persecution and poverty at least since the British pulled out with the partition split of the Indian Subcontinent into sovereign Pakistan (Muslim) and India (primarily Hindu but a whole slew of religions including Islam hence the concept of a democratic republic as a hopeful unifier).

 

Below is some information PUCM Facebook About Page:

 

About

 

Equality, Unity, Prosperity.

Description

Vision:

Inspired by Jesus Christ’s ministry of unconditional love, peace, tolerance and sacrific(e). PUCM envisages a tolerant, peaceful, just and prosperous Pakistan. A motherland where all citizens are ensured equality, not judged by color, cast, creed or religion, but by the content of their character and allegiance to the state.

Mission:

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” Psalm 133:1

Based on the biblical message in Psalm 133:1. PUCM’s mission is to promote and build unity among the Christians of Pakistan reflecting mutual respect and understanding, political and socio-economic progress and prosperity. PUCM aims to achieve this by providing direction and facilitating developmental opportunities for all, especially to youth.

Political Agenda:

– Equal electorate rights – Election not Selection.

– Increased representation, including women, in legislative forums at Federal and Provincial levels – Transparent census.

– Abolishment of minority wings in mainstream political parties – Increased political participation, equal status & allocation of general seats.

– Eradication of Socio-Political discrimination – Socio-economic empowerment.

– Elimination of religious intolerance – promotion of democratic and social values at grass roots levels.

– Revisiting of all discriminatory laws and sections of Constitution – Equal rights for all.

Slogan:

Mein Bhi Pakistan Hoon – Equality for all Pakistanis

 

Below is an article sent by Shamim Masih a Pakistani-Christian journalist that free lances often but can be read often at Salem-News.com. The article is a profile of Albert David speaking to Pakistani Christians undoubtedly with the goal of establishing a unity consensus. You need to be aware there are some very brave people standing for Christ in Muslim lands that are wholly unfriendly to Christianity and Christians. Shamim sent many photographs to demonstrate his point about Albert David which I am neglecting to post. You can also read the article with photos at Salem-News.com HERE.

 

JRH 12/28/12

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

Minorities, particularly Christians, are deliberately sidelined in Pakistan

Emerging political leader become the most visible guest in the town during the advent carnival

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: December 27, 2012 9:47 AM

 

ISALAMABAD PAKISTAN (SHAMIM MASIH): With the advent of December, Christians all over the world kicked off their preparations to celebrate the most important festival of the year ‘Christmas’ across the world including Pakistan.

 

With every passing day till the eve of Christmas, Pakistani Christians prepare to celebrate the festivity with zeal and enthusiasm, feeling the echo of church bells for the mid night services on Christmas eve that announce the birth of Jesus. While preparing for Christmas, the Christians living in Pakistan renew their spirit of celebrating Christmas which continues throughout the month. The programs and celebrations leading to Christmas include Christmas dinners, carol singing and other get together that have an element of sharing the joys of Christmas with the less fortunate.

 

Albert David – Chairman Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM) launched his new political party in October this year has created awareness in the town during the Christmas celebrations in the twin city. His presence bloom the events this year in the maximum annual Christmas programs in the town. Talking to the Christians he raised awareness among the Pakistani Christians to demand election not selection everywhere in the country.

 

Mr. Albert was invited to 25 programs organized by different churches, social organizations and community groups. PUCM chairman availed this wonderful opportunity not only to share the message of Christmas but also talked about the importance of Christian community to being vibrant and visible in the National political scene.

 

Chairman PUCM during his speeches focused on the true message and spirit of Christmas, unconditional love, peace, hope and most importantly sharing of joys with less fortunate. He also stressed upon Christians to actively participate in National politics to ensure their increased visibility and importance. He consistently emphasized on the need of unity under a political platform as that would become the rationale for other majority parties to acknowledge the importance of non-Muslim Pakistanis.

 

Talking about the constitutional amendments, Mr. Albert said that during the past 65 years of the National assembly, the 207 seats for parliamentarians were increased to 335, while the women’s seats were raised from 15 to 60.

 

However, the 10 number seats reserved for minorities the seats approved 30 years back, increased to 14, which is not proportional to its population increased. Even these seats were filled by selection, rather election, he added.

 

PUCM wants to aware not only Pakistan’s government, but also to the entire world that Pakistani Christians are being deprived of the deserving rights, even though in the foundation of the Pakistan. The time has come that all Pakistani Christians have to stand for their rights and we will not compromise on selection of the candidates liking of the majority parties. PUCM firmly believe that being Pakistanis we are equal citizen and will have equal rights.

________________________

Albert David Working for Unity among Pakistani Christians

John R. Houk

© December 28, 2012

______________________

Minorities, particularly Christians, are deliberately sidelined in Pakistan

 

Shamim Masih

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General

REAP

Shamim Masih Emails


Shamim Masih

Edited by John R. Houk

Posted November 19, 2012

 

Recently I posted an article by Shamim Masih exposing Hector Aleem and probably his family of being perpetrators of hoaxes at the expense Pakistani Christians and Western Christians particularly living in the USA.

 

I was one of those that posted updates on Hector as if he was a persecuted Christian and have sent money occasionally. A few other American-Christians have questioned me if Shamim Masih was for real or just another trickster defaming the Aleems. And trust me; I have had comments that definitely surly and profane usually aimed at Hector’s primary spokesperson his daughter. I chalked up those comments to Islamic Supremacists that were displeased a Christian was supporting another Christian beyond the limits of Islamic Sharia Law.

 

Below are some Masih emails beginning with an email response to one of my queries after I first came across some of his investigative journalism pertaining to Hector Aleem. Keep in mind most of this correspondence was on the level of email brevity, which I felt needed a bit editing. I believe after you read these emails you will agree with me that Shamim Masih is a legitimate reporting journalist and that his conclusions are legitimate about Hector Aleem.

 

The issue of legitimacy is important because I did take some time to think before I posted the Aleem exposé and these emails. Hector’s daughter reads in a passionate supportive nature of her father on the facebook group Free Hector Aleem. I had to re-read Masih’s investigative facts and Hector’s daughter’s passion over a few times before I made the painstaking decision not to be supportive of Hector any longer.

 

I think that is enough said, continue on with Masih’s emails to decide for yourself if his fact finding is legitimate.

 

JRH 11/19/12

Please Support NCCR

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RE: Hector Aleem Story: High Profile Hector Aleem Dragged Christian Families of Rawal Town Islamabad onto the Road

 

Shamim Masih

October 19, 2012 9:10 PM

 

Dear John Houk,

 

Greetings to you in the name of our soon coming Lord Christ Jesus.

 

I feel that you have kind heart and helping Christians in Pakistan, I am so grateful for this…. I am looking at these cases around Pakistan, and went everywhere in the corner of the country… I am a free lance journalist and social activist working for Christian’s rights.

 

My earnings are through working on assignments,

 

I worked on Asia Bibi, made documentary on Asia Bibi’s case for BBC world, I broke out the Rimsha’s news first time in Islamabad and raised a voice for her and local and international media picked it up, I have been very close to Rimsha’s case…. etc etc 

 

I am sorry, if I hurt you in any sense. 

 

I know this case and its history and Hector’s working which was never for the sake of Christians or for their rights but I didn’t write on it… by any means. I remain quiet… anyway, a God fearing American lady Susan, asked me to go and solve the case. So I tried and went into its depth, it took five months and the facts are placed in front of you people.

 

There are many things, which I didn’t write… journalism ethics.

 

I read the blog you mentioned, and if you observe, Mehwish is asking for money $300 or $400 like this… sorry to say it’s not a practice, lawyers don’t charge every time. Once the fee is decided, lawyers don’t charge on a daily basis… and for your kind information, Hector Aleem is discharged from blasphemy case; see the court order below: 

 

“In 2009, under FIR No. 767, dated 28.11.2008 under sections 295-c/109 PPC, 25-D Telegraph act, Pakistani Additional Session Judge, Muhammad Sarfraz Akhter in Rawalpindi has acquitted the accused Hector Aleem, Basharat Khokhar and Robin Masih in the same kind of case.

The court stated in its order, “in nutshell on the basis of illegalities committed by investigating agency of the police and prosecution agency the prosecution has failed to prove the charge against all the said accused persons. They are therefore, hereby acquitted of the charge.”

Now he is facing the human trafficking cases, he used to take money from the people for sending them abroad in “Peace Worldwide” name, and he used to send all Muslims to other countries not Christians…

 

Even then he can be released.

 

I have been in the same sector for the last decade and so on. I know each and everything; I can manage this issue on your part.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim

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Life Threatened for Noble Work

 

Shamim Masih

10/23/2012 9:05 PM

 

Basharat Khokhar

 

I have seen Basharat Khokher (a police constable) protecting Rimsha’s lawyer Mr. Tahir Naveed Chaudhary during court proceeding in Islamabad. He went to receive Rimsha from the jail and took her to the safest place. He had also been working as a security guard for Dr. Paul Bhatti (Minister in-charge for National Harmony) and earlier for his brother (Late) Shahbaz Bhatti (Ex. Federal Minister).

 

When Shahbaz Bhatti received threats from militants then Khokher remain a target too. He went underground after the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti. But when Rimsha’s incident happened, he became at the front foot in guarding his bosses. He is the person who went to Meharabadi people to take Rimsha’s family out of the town taking his own life at risk and took them into his custody and remains with them for APMA. Unfortunately, Dr. Paul Bhatti pulled him out from the bunch without realizing the work he has done for Rimsha’s release. When the court announced Rimsha’s release order, he went there, taking her from the jail and placed Rimsha in a safe place along with her family.

 

So extremist watched him handling all the matters gallantly, and now they are threatening him. He told me that he received life threats and thus he requested his high official to provide him life security. He showed me his application to high officials.

 

This is how the life of a person becomes miserable who work for the people who face blasphemy cases. I also found that he himself had faced a false blasphemy case and court set him free in 2009.

 

Below is the court decision:

 

Earlier in 2009, under FIR No. 767, dated 28.11.2008 under sections 295-c/109 PPC, 25-D Telegraph act, Pakistani Additional Session Judge, Muhammad Sarfraz Akhter in Rawalpindi has acquitted the accused Hector Aleem, Basharat Khokhar and Robin Masih in the same kind of case.

The court stated in its order, “in nutshell on the basis of illegalities committed by investigating agency of the police and prosecution agency the prosecution has failed to prove the charge against all the said accused persons. They are therefore, hereby acquitted of the charge.

 

Khokhar’s wife was admitted to the hospital for the last couple of months. He has to take care of her and kids at home as well. All Christians are requested to pray for safety of his life.

 

I urge the authorities in Pakistan to:

 

1. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the threats received by human rights defender Basharat Khokher, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

 

2. Take measures to ensure that government officials or other public figures refrain from making statements or declarations stigmatizing the legitimate work of human rights defenders;

 

3. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Pakistan are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment. 

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 

Secretary General 

REAP
+92-300-642-4560

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Albert David

 

Chosen Vessel of Christ: Albert David

Looking for the unity among Pakistani Christians

 

Shamim Masih

Sent: 10/25/2012 7:51 PM

 

ISLAMABAD PAKISTAN, (SHAMIM MASIH): For years Pakistani Christians are passing through hardships in different situations. Since Bhutto’s regime, he nationalized all the Christian’s institutions and dragged them out of the main stream, making the constitution in 1973 according to his will.

 

He butchered the Christians in Rawalpindi near Punjab house on Aug 30, 1972, captured by force hundreds of Christian schools and colleges, confiscated church properties worth billions and got registered False, frivolous and fabricated cases against the writer of these lines and his 44 companions. We are living witnesses to this crucification (sic) of the Christians of Pakistan.

 

Gen. Zia-ul-Haq (the dictator) and his follower Mr. Nawaz Sharif stampeding his shoes and they killed many Christians with discriminatory laws 295- B, C and many other black laws Passed by them are hanging upon our heads like loaded pistols or naked swords.

 

Unfortunately many so called Christian leaders are still shaking their tails behind them, thus not knowingly they became the part of it. I have been writing for the need of unity among Christians of Pakistan. Years back I asked J. Salik (Ex. Federal Minister), Col. (R) S K Tressler (Ex. Federal Minister), and Prof. Mushataq Victor (late) (Ex. Federal Minister), to unite Pakistani Christians, but they have been playing their own cards for own sake.

 

Few months back, when Salma Peter asked me to see Albert David. It was a time when, I met a man, wearing shalwar Qameez (Pakistani dress), walking briskly towards me, he welcomed me with a smiling face and really seemed passionate. We had a short introduction session and became proverbial, like we knew each other for years.

 

Albert David had inherited politics from his father. In our first meeting he shared his ideas and his work as a social activist, which showed that his interest and arrival in politics was a well thought out and planned process. Albert has an International recognition for his cutting edge work on Forced marriages and has been conferred with MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. He was the first Pakistani Christian to have received this honor.

 

As a social activist his focus has been on child rights, especially the right to education. He has a firm believe that the education is the key if Pakistani Christians are to break the vicious cycle of poverty and oppression. Since 2002, Albert and his team at SUPPORT CHILDREN have been able to support over 4000 children (directly and indirectly) towards their education. And all of this has been achieved through the financial contribution of the local people.

 

Having developed a good understanding of the issues effecting the development of Pakistani Christians whether social or political, combined with his exposure to the national and International issues. Albert recently has decided to play a role in Pakistani politics. Though very clear about the political issues and the approach to deal with these issues, Albert has been emphasizing on the need and importance of unity among the Christians. During all interactions that I have had with him or the public events where I have had the opportunity to listen him speaking, one thing that has been consistence is his passion for unity. The conviction in his voice and the body language whilst he talks about unity clearly shows his determination and dedication for the cause. This is further supported by his communication skills; he knows his audience and delivers the message according to their intellectual needs. I have witnessed him speaking to different groups in English, Urdu, Punjabi and Pothohari with complete fluency.

 

I along with many other social and political activists have been desperately looking for someone who could conscientiously lead the Christian nation with conviction, determination and above all love and care. Albert apparently ticks all these boxes but will have to convince and prove through his actions only then he would be able to muster support for the new political initiative “PAKISTAN UNITED CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT (PUCM)” [SlantRight Editor: PUCM on Facebook] that he and his team have announced to launch.

 

PUCM is being officially launched on 10th November, 2012 invitation has been extended to Christians to join hands under this umbrella and to mushroom unity.

 

Albert calls this the beginning of a new era, the start of a change. May God bless you; Albert David.

 

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 

Secretary General 

REAP
+92-300-642-4560

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Three pastors from the home town of Rimsha perplexed about religious liberty

 

Shamim Masih

Sent: 11/2/2012 12:43 PM

 

ISLAMABAD PAKISTAN, (SHAMIM MASIH):  A few weeks back I wrote an article about the root cause of the Rimsha case [SlantRight Editor: My last post on Rimsha Masih], when Qari Muhammad Khalid Chishti was released on bail against surety bond of worth Rs. 200,000/-

 

Let me remind you his statement on this issue printed in all English Papers of Islamabad on August 25, 2012, “Christian community had previously caused antagonism by playing music in services at their makeshift church during Muslim prayer time and said burning the pages was deliberate. “They committed this crime to insult us further. This happened because we did not stop their anti-Islam activities before,” he said. “Last Christmas, they played musical instruments and there was vulgarity in the streets during our prayer time. I warned them but they did not stop.”

 

During his sermon at Friday prayers, Chishti told worshipers it was “time for Muslims to wake up” and protect the Holy Quran.  (The Express, Tribune 25th August, 2012)

 

Based on his perspicacity the whole case was planted, on August 16, when Muslim extremist raised their voice against the Christians Meharabadi, Pastor Arif Shalokh – Calvary Charismatic Church, Islamabad escaped taking his family at 2 in the night wondering in the streets of Islamabad.

 

Pastor Arif ShalokhAccording to Pastor Arif, he has been serving the Lord for the last 15 years, Rimsha and her family was the member of the same church. Pastor Arif was in rented house and has been using a hall for church service. In that vicinity more than 35 families were his church members. He said he used to visit Rimsha & family occasionally. We Christians are humble and peace loving people and can’t even imagine insulting others.

 

Answering to the question raised by Qari Muhammad Khalid Chishti he said Church services normally start at 10 am and finish till 12 o clock, so during these hours there is no Azan or Muslim’s prayer time, so how come Christian’s disturb them during their prayer. Thus this is baseless and as for as vulgarity is concerned we are the part of this culture, so we are aware of our ritual and rights. Qari Khalid belongs to extremists group and he has been blaming on Christians since he is inducted in the mosque.

 

After resettling there when they started there worship session on Sunday, 7th October, they were not allowed to worship during Sunday services, so they went to the administration and filed an application to DCO. Assistant commissioner (AC) Islamabad had marked their application to SHO police station Ramna G-11 for the investigation and to report her promptly. A month later we are still hanging on dates.

 

Pastor Yousaf Masih – International Gospel Assemblies (IGA) has been working among Christians for years and having more than 100 families in his congregation. Pastor Yousaf Masih – International Gospel Assemblies (IGA)

 

Talking to BPCA representative in Pakistan, he said that since this incident happened most of the Christians families have left their houses on the same night. I have looking after them with the available resources, and once most of the families are back in the town, we arranged the Sunday Service in a house but our landlord didn’t allow us to worship even in our houses.

 

We ask the administration where is our religious liberty, on August 11, 1947 address of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, to the members of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly, to the status of a national covenant. That it has taken more than 50 years to reach such a conclusion is indeed most intriguing. In that address the Quaid said, among other things, the following:

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of 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… We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State… I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in due course Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”

 

Where is our right, we are Pakistani and have sacrificed for the country, why these fundamentalist are imposing Islamic culture on us.

 

Pastor Shahid Gill – Living Branch Church IslamabadPastor Shahid Gill – Living Branch Church Islamabad working in Mehrabadi for the last 3 and half years. He is having more than fifty families in his church. Talking about the religious freedom he said that we ask our landlord to construct the church building and we had paid him 5 years advance but since the incident happened, our landlord Malik Parvaiz had back out from the agreement and told us to leave the house. He has not even paid of[f] our advance so far. When we are not allowed to worship freely, how can we survive there?

 

It is clearly seen that there are some people in the country who claim the ownership, while they forget that people from other religion are Pakistani too. All Pakistanis have the right to perform their religious duties according to their religion, under the light of Quaid-e-Azam speech on 11 August [SlantRight Editor: Here is reference to the speech].

 

We all request to UN to intercede into the matter and ask Pakistani government to give us religious freedom.

 

Pictures: Pastor Arif, Pastor Yousaf, & Pastor Shahid Gill

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Rimsha Masih photos

Update about Rimsha case

Islamabad High Court reserves verdict on plea seeking to Rismsha’s case dismissal

 

Shamim Masih

Sent: 11/14/2012 4:02 AM

[SlantRight Editor: My last update on Rimsha]

 

ISLAMABAD PAKISTAN (SHAMIM MASIH): Islamabad High Court (IHC) reserved its verdict on an application from Rimsha council Abdul Hameed Rana seeking to dismiss the Rimsha case on Wednesday 14 November 2012.

 

Abdul Hameed Rana (Rimsha’s lawyer) appeared before the chief justice IHC Mr. Iqbal Hameed Rehman taking his plea for Rimsha. He said that the honorable court has seen all the evidences and it’s been proven that the case was totally fabricated against the Christian girl of 14, Rimsha. Nothing has been proven so far so he requested the court to dismiss the case.

 

The opponent council Ch. Abdul Aziz has also given his arguments in the court today.

 

After hearing an hour discussion, the chief justice high court has reserved it verdict on an application seeking to dismiss the Rimsha case.

 

Rimsha, a 14 years Christian girl, was arrested from a suburb of Islamabad in blasphemy case on August 16 and after three weeks she was released on bail on 8th September, 2012. Rimsha and her family, who have been in fear for their lives since the blasphemy allegations, were placed to an undisclosed location after her release on bail on September 8.

 

 

Pictures: Shamim talking to the council of Rimsha Abdul Hameed Rana today in the IHC

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 

Secretary General 

REAP
+92-300-642-4560

_____________________________

There is slight editing by John R. Houk with the attempt to preserve the English-Pakistan accent. I pray the changes do not change the original intent of Shamim Masih.