KP Govt. Closed Six Churches Amid the U.S. placing Pakistan on Special Watch List


Shamim Masih writes about Islamic Supremacism once again persecuting Christians in Pakistan by targeting unregistered Churches with closure under the poor excuse of security.

 

JRH 1/20/18

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KP Govt. Closed Six Churches Amid the U.S. placing Pakistan on Special Watch List

 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan (formerly NWFP)

 

By SHAMIM MASIH

Sent 1/19/2018 9:03 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: The Khyber Pakhtunkhawa [alternate spelling: Pakhtunkhwa] (KPK) province in Pakistan has sealed at least six Churches in district Abbottabad in the name of security after the United States placed Pakistan name in the Special Watch List. The officials claimed that only non-registered churches are closed. On the other hand, the KP govt. has announced monthly honorarium for 20, 000 Muslim clerics in the province.

 

According to the details the district administration at Abbottabad has officially ordered to close as many as six churches in the name of security and said the churches being established in the rental houses and non-registered are closed due to security risk. The District Police Officer (DPO) Syed Ashfaq said in his official statement that those churches have been sealed which had not been registered with the Auqaf Department.

 

According to 27th Convention of the United Nations, Pakistan is liable to take steps for the safety, protection of minorities and women rights and religious freedom in the country. And on January 04, 2018, the US placed Pakistan name in the list of those countries which are alleged violating minorities rights and religious freedom. Being on the Watch List means Pakistan is a step away from included in the “Countries of Particular Concern” list. The list includes “governments that have engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.”

 

In the meantime, on January 8, 2018, KP govt. proved it that religious minorities are not free to perform their religious services at their homes and even cannot worship in the rental houses they live in. To a rough estimate more than 10000 Christians live in and around Hazara Division and 5000 in Abbottabad district. And many of them are bared to perform their ceremonial and routine religious services.

 

Meanwhile, the Christian community across the country have termed the move as unjustified. Father Arshad Nayer, the local priest from Roman Catholic denomination said, “it would give a bad message if the government continued to seal worship places of religious minorities over minor issues.” Instead of providing security to the said churches the administration is on to close them, and it is violation of religious freedom. The poor Christians do not have enough resources to construct independent new church buildings, he added.

 

Pastor Christopher Shakar, one victim [of a closed Church – perhaps], said that his father Akram Shakar has started the Emmanuel Pentecostal Church (EPC) in 1985, and now he has taken this responsibility for seven years. On the celebration of the Christmas, the district administration has interrupted during the sermon and asked to close the service. This is violation of religious freedom given in the constitution of country. Another church, Assemblies of God has been established some 50 years back and now Pastor in charge Saleem Ghori is running it in his own house is also closed under the said so called security risk.

 

Chairman Community Development Foundation (CDF) Basharat Khokher strongly condemned the move by the KP govt. and termed it prejudicial behavior toward religious minorities in Pakistan. Talking on religious freedom, he said that the step taken by KP govt. is discriminatory and biased; the KP government is paying billions of rupees to Muslim clerics in the province and shutting down Christian worship places. From this move, it clearly shows that there is no religious freedom in the country and government imposed restriction and tries to snub the rights of minorities.

 

When asked Shireen Mazari, a senior Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) leader and member parliament, she said PTI is very clear in giving rights to minorities and not in the favor of closing any worship places. PTI central secretariat has sought written reply from CM KP Parvez Khattak on the matter of closure of 6 churches in Abbottabad district. The CM has been asked to explain the causes and motives leading to closure of churches. In a statement chairman PTI Imran Khan said that all the minorities enjoy full freedom of religion under the constitution of Pakistan. He said the PTI believes in full freedom of minorities, adding that such steps by the provincial government create a negative impression in the international community.

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

Diplomatic Correspondents

Online Int’l News Networks

Daily Jinnah & Daily Morning Mail

Journalist, Blogger and

Social Reformer

_________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Any text enclosed by brackets as well as source links are by the Editor. Also, the Editor used Spellcheck.

 

A few words from Shamim perhaps from 2016:

 

 

Shamim Masih 

 

Greetings to you! Let me introduce myself first, though many of you are witness to my professional work. I am the only Christian journalist in this arena with diverse work experience with different media outlets like Independent News Pakistan (INP), as columnist with “Daily Times” for two years, two years with one of the leading Urdu daily, “Khabrain” & Channel 5, Daily Mail and now with Pakistan Today. I have been working as lead Reporter for “British Pakistani Christian Association” since 2010. As stringer I have worked with BBC world service. Being a Christian journalist, I have been writing on minority rights and working as a social reformer/peace maker as well.

 

Pakistani Christians: Voiceless and Leaderless


Several days ago, Shamim shared about the U.S./Pakistan foreign affairs dispute over the State Department placing Pakistan on a special watch list relating to violations of religious freedom.

 

Shamim is a brave Pakistani Christian willing to criticize Pakistan’s lack of human rights against religious minorities. In Pakistan if you are not a Sunni Muslim, you can expect horrid discrimination up to and including violence, rape or even murder. Pakistani victims of this designation are often ignored in the legal system and oft times face the law for reporting victimizing crimes.

 

JRH 1/11/18

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Pakistani Christians: Voiceless and Leaderless

 

By SHAMIM MASIH

Sent 1/8/2018 10:03 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: There is an uproar in Pakistan after placing its name on a Special Watch List by the United States on the issue of religious freedom and Pakistan rejected U.S. decision and considered it as “Politically motivated”. Pakistan said on Friday that it “rejects the U.S. designation” and that the report is “not based on objective criteria”. “This placement on special watch list is a new categorization and we would be seeking clarification from the U.S. regarding its rationale and implications,” a statement from Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

 

“It is surprising that countries that have a well-known record of systematic persecution of religious minorities have not included in the list,” the statement added. “This reflects the double standards and political motives behind the listing and hence lacks credibility.”

 

Earlier in a statement, issued on Thursday, January 4, 2018, the U.S. state department added Pakistan to a Special Watch List, while re-designating a group of other countries as being of “particular concern” on the issue of religious freedom. The State Department spokesman, Heather Nauert said in a statement that the number of governments infringe upon individuals’ ability to adopt, change, or renounce their religion or belief.” “In for too many places around the globe, people continue to be persecuted, unjustly prosecuted, or imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief”.

 

Under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the U.S. annually designates countries of particular concern, and Thursday’s statement re-designated Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. “The Secretary also placed Pakistan on a Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom,” Nauert said.

 

Let me tell you; though it makes no difference if the U.S. places Pakistan on a Special Watch list, but there are some facts which cannot be denied. Pakistan was declared an Islamic Republic where both the President and Prime Minister were required to be Muslims and Islam was the state religion. It promotes a certain Islamic mindset and the constitution called for the setting up of a Council of Islamic Ideology, comprising religious scholars and experts, to enforce the repugnancy clause. And number of discriminatory laws e.g. blasphemy laws are added in the constitutions against religious minorities and thus minorities are being targeted and facing challenges in Pakistan.

 

Now it is not only the matter of religious freedom for minorities but women are also suffering the same. Pakistan is the fourth worst country for women according to recently released ranking of the Women, Peace and Security Index. Isn’t it a fact that minorities in Pakistan are being unjustly prosecuted, or imprisoned for exercising their rights to freedom of religion or belief? According to the World Report 2017, at least 19 people remained on death row after being convicted under Pakistan’s blasphemy law and hundreds awaited trial. Most of those facing blasphemy are members of religious minorities, often victimized by these charges due to personal disputes. The government continued to actively encourage legal and procedural discrimination against members of the Christians and Ahmadi religious community by failing to repeal discriminatory laws. Most recently, a week before Christmas celebrations two suicide bombers attacked a Church packed with worshipers on Sunday in Quetta, killing at least nine people and injuring at least 35 others, several critically.

 

Suspects accused have no hope

 

Earlier former parliamentarian raised question on unequal, unjust role of law by the judiciary and authorities. Pakistan Today reported, “Former MP, Sindh Assembly Saleem Khokhar has demanded the release of 40 suspects in the Youhanabad lynching incident in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Khokher said that just like the Faizabad agreement, where all the cases were dropped against the protesters, the Youhanabad suspects should be released as soon as possible.” “Just because we don’t have weapons and that we are a minority, the state won’t do an agreement with us,” he questioned? He demanded that the same law should be applied to the Tehrik-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah Chief Khadim Rizvi and his supporters. They were involved in killing a police officer and beating several others, while also harming the state property, why were they all released? Since I am writing this there is no response from the authorities yet and two of the suspects [Indaryas Ghulam & Usman Masih] of Youhanabad have died during their custody and third one on the row.

 

The Christian community is one of the most persecuted minorities in Pakistan with a sudden surge in riots, mob lynching, target killings and bomb blasts targeting their congregations and Churches in the recent decade. And there is no rule of law and freedom and manifestation of religion and expression. This is very unfortunate that this community either cannot produce any visionary leader to fight for their rights or there are many so called leaders and thus they remained voiceless since partition of the subcontinent. However, I feel that there is a bigger need to look inward to ensure the rights and freedom of religious minorities, especially Christians.

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

Diplomatic Correspondents

Online Int’l News Networks

Daily Jinnah & Daily Morning Mail

Journalist, Blogger and

Social Reformer

_________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Any text enclosed by brackets as well as source links are by the Editor. Also, the Editor used Spellcheck.

 

A few words from Shamim perhaps from 2016:

Greetings to you! Let me introduce myself first, though many of you are witness to my professional work. I am the only Christian journalist in this arena with diverse work experience with different media outlets like Independent News Pakistan (INP), as columnist with “Daily Times” for two years, two years with one of the leading Urdu daily, “Khabrain” & Channel 5, Daily Mail and now with Pakistan Today. I have been working as lead Reporter for “British Pakistani Christian Association” since 2010. As stringer I have worked with BBC world service. Being a Christian journalist, I have been writing on minority rights and working as a social reformer/peace maker as well.

 

Christians Fear to Attend Sunday Service


Shamim writes about Muslims of a community in the Rawalpindi area of Pakistan harassing Pakistani-Christians primarily because the Muslims find the Christian services offensive.

 

Shamim doesn’t really share the specific details of the Muslim Islamic Supremacism against Christian religious freedom. I found an article the Christian Times Pakistan that make the issues a bit clearer:

 

Rawalpindi Neighborhood Christians & Muslims Clash Over Religious Freedom (Photo: Christian Times Pakistan)

 

 

The complainants namely Muhammad Sajid, Rashid Akhtar, Afzal Hussain and Muhammad Sadiq have maintained that some Christian residents of the locality including Patras Salamat Masih, James Allah Ditta and others are carrying out church activities which are bothering them.

 

In an application submitted at the New Town Police Station, the complainants claimed that Patras and James have illegally formed a church in house right in front of theirs. “They perform their religious ceremonies three days a week (Sunday, Tuesday and Saturday).” The complainants claim that during the church services Christian youngsters are stationed on the street; who block the passage of lay people on the street.

 

Moreover, the complainants said that whenever a Christian dies, these congregants use the street for observing funeral ceremonies. They said that religious practices of these Christians have caused much nuisance to them. Furthermore, the complainants have stated that when they tried to approach the church’ administration they hurled death threats at us.

 

Sajid, Rashid, Afzal and Sadiq also claim that Patras and James were allegedly trying to pressurize them to sell their houses and leave the street. “We also informed the Union Council Chairman, Abid Hussain Abbasi,” they maintained in the compliant. They maintained that the Union Council Chairman had also advised them to sell their properties to the Christians and leave the street.

 

On the other hand, the Christians claim that on August 8, 2017, Sajid, Rashid, Afzal and Sadiq long with others arrived at the church when a prayer service was going on. Christians allege that the said people arrived with intent to attack the congregants and therefore the police was informed about the situation. (Bold text Editor’s — Rawalpindi: Tension arises between Christians, Muslims in New Town neighborhood; By  admin; Christian Times Pakistan; 10/3/17)

 

I used bold text to point out that Muslims often lie when it comes to the religious liberty of Christians. This is particularly so when Islamic Supremacist use Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law to eject or cause harm to Christians.

 

Here is Shamim Masih’s account below.

 

JRH 10/22/17

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Christians Fear to Attend Sunday Service

 

By SHAMIM MASIH

Sent: 10/22/2017 12:16 AM

 

RAWALPINDI: Christians fear of attending ceremonial services and Sunday service due to the threats of Muslims living in the neighborhood. Muslims disrupted church a service and wanted to eliminate the church building in the twin area of Rawalpindi, a twin city of Pakistan. Police are reluctant to arrest Muslims even after the attack.

 

According to the reports, a group of 13 people in the town area of Rawalpindi district filed an application against the Pastor Patras Salamat at the office of the district administrator “City Police Officer” (CPO) to shut down the church. The CPO Israr Abbasi ordered the concerned officials to take stern action against the church administration, the report said. The document available with the Covenant TV reads that Mohammad Sajid, Rashid Akhter, Mohammad Sadiq and others have filed an application against the Pastor Patras Salamat and James Allah Dita to stop the religious ceremony done by local the Christians around their houses and also wrote a threatening statement between the lines. Number of 13 members of the locality wrote an application to the district administration with their signatures underwritten and said that due to their Sunday service and the religious ceremonial; the Muslim community living around feels irritated and itchy. Therefore, they have requested the higher ups to remove the church from their neighborhood. The city administrator (CPO) ordered the concerned officials to take action and stop these activities, the document reads.

 

Application CPO

 

In talking to the Covenant TV Pastor Patras Salamat, he said the Philadelphia Pentecostal Church is a registered body under the constitutions of the country and was established nineteen years ago at the same place when his father Pastor Salamat purchased the land and started with the small building. And with the passage of time as the church grew, he purchased the nearby land as well. The Philadelphia Pentecostal Church is registered and the sitting Priest claimed that he obtain the written approval for the said piece of land for Church building from the local administration. On every Sunday service the police chief also assigned two police security at the venue. When the congregation gathered for the service, we also arrange our church volunteers to take care of the visitors and congregation as well.

 

A few weeks back, when the service was on and as soon as worshipers began worshipping, Mohammad Sajid and a few other Muslims arrived armed with guns and machetes to disrupt the Sunday service and shouted to stop the service. The church administration went to resolve the issue.  Later the local administration arranged a reconciliation meeting between the Muslims and members of the congregation. After a few days the Muslims again filed an application to the senior officials, he added.

 

Mr. Javed Youhana, a regular church-goer said that he used to attend the Sunday services since 1999 but he feels himself insecure while going to church since the Muslim in the neighborhood have threatened the Christians. Basharat Khokher, an activist said, “I live nearby but attend the service on regular basis with my family, since the attack on [the] church has created [a] sense of insecurity in me and many others. We live under constant traumatiz[ation] since the attacks began on Pakistan on worship places by the extremists. … For the most time, when I go to church I fear anything can happen anytime and I feel whether I will go back home (alive) or not.” [Blog Editor: Emphasis mine]

 

Taliban terrorists and extremist in Pakistan have been attacking worship places of the religious minorities across the country for the last two decades, killing hundreds and with thousands injured. Many of them are still living with their constant diseases and some are paralyzed due to these attacks while worshiping their God. There have been attacks on Shiite mosques and Imambargahs; Bohra worship places; Ahmadiya community worship places; Churches; and Hindu temples. Due to the situation, the minorities in general, live in the grip of fear even during the worship.

 

www.thecovenant.tv

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

 

Journalist, Blogger and Social Reformer
http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/

+92-300-642-4560

_______________

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad. Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

Edited by John R. Houk

Text embraced by brackets are by the Editor.

 

Unedited version at Pakistan Christian Post

 

© Shamim Masih (Mahmood)

 

Minorities Rights Journalist attacked in Pakistan


Intro to ‘Minorities Rights Journalist attacked in Pakistan

Edited by John R. Houk

By Shamim Mahmood

 

Shamim Mahmood (Masih) is a frequent contributor to this blog reporting on the Islamic Supremacist persecution of Christians in Pakistan. The plight of Christians in Muslim dominated areas of the world tend to get more publicity of Egyptian Muslims persecuting Egyptian Coptic Christians and the mega-brutality of Daesh (ISIS) murdering or enslaving Christians in the Syria/Iraq part of the Muslim world. Yet, Pakistan brutalizes Christians on a near state sanctioned level with the Blasphemy Law is often used as a method of Muslim/Christian retribution more than a blasphemy (according to Sharia Not Free Speech) actually occurring.

 

Knowing that Shamim’s journalism takes place in a hostile situation, I often post his requests for support from Western sources. To those of you that use Pay Pal for such contributions, it will not work in Pakistan. You will have to use a direct money transfer from your bank to Shamim’s bank. The least expensive method I have found is using Western Union for a wire transfer of money. Western Union will exchange your nation’s currency into Pakistani Rupees for you.

 

Here is the standard info that I share with readers that links to Western Union with Shamim’s info for the wire transfer:

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

Shamim’s submission below brings to reality the danger he faces as a Human Rights Activist and Christian journalist in Pakistan. If my meager efforts failed to interest you in being a supporter of Shamim Mahmood (Masih) at least consider a one-time contribution and share Shamim’s need with your friends and family.

 

JRH 7/26/17

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Minorities Rights Journalist attacked in Pakistan

 

By Shamim Mahmood

Sent 7/26/2017 5:21 AM

 

Shamim Mahmood (Masih)

 

Dear Friends, Greetings, I hope this email will find you in your best health and spirit. I am writing this email with a heavy heart and in an alarming situation prevailing around. I hope many of you may be aware of that since 2010, I am working as a journalist and as long as I fulfillll my official responsibilities, I’ve been writing on persecution and minorities’ rights in Pakistan. Especially after Gojra incident, when eight Christian family members were burnt alive including two children and dozens of the houses were set ablaze on blasphemy allegation. Since then I devotedly writing against unlawful killings of the Christians especially in the Punjab province and persecutions.

 

Living in Pakistan as member from the minority segment, is too hard and it became more difficult when you raise voice for your rights. But living in the same society I keep writing on and facing problems on a routine basis. Now this episode of attack has shaken me and my family. Let me tell you the story.

 

On Saturday late evening, when I was travelling towards my house in my car, unknown assailants opened fire on me that hit the car. The bullets hit my car but I managed to escape. Earlier I was being beaten for writing on minorities issues after Youhanabad twin Churches bomb attack in 2015, by two unknown motorcyclist as a result my left arm was fractured and motorbike damaged.

 

It was about 2130 hours, on July 22, when I was on the way back to my home on my car Suzuki Bleno, while driving the nearby street to my house, I noticed that something hit hard on car, I was shocked and scared and managed to escape. On reaching the house, I found the dent of bullet fired on the car”. “I was as scared as it was first time that somebody attacked me and soon after parking the car and went inside the house. Next morning, I took one of my colleagues and a relative with me visit the nearby police station and filed an application narrating the whole episode. But no FIR was registered, he added.

 

Suzuki Bleno and close-up of bullet dent

 

After writing a story “Qadri Supporters have becomepolitical power, claimed Sheikh Rasheed” [Link provided by Shamim. Updated 7/27/17] I received threatening phone calls. But thought of usual matter as it is routine matter for me receiving such type of phone calls for writing on minorities’ issues and rights as Pakistani citizen.

 

It is pertinent to mention here that it is not the first threat as journalist I am facing. There are number of threatening phone calls and even harsh words exchanged with some religious extremists which has become a routine matter for writing on rights of the minorities, especially Christians. But the latest episode is unique which made my whole family worried as my wife is asking me to leave this profession, which I cannot at any cost. Though this incident has put me and my family under constant threat but I believe that God wants me to write for His people even if under stress and strain. God will take care of it.

 

I know that my credibility and objectivity rest on my ability to be proactive in highlighting issues revolving religion and victimization of religious minorities.  What has alarmed us is the fact that authorities do not extend any help or support.

 

After this incident, I planned to shift my rented house as the landlord advised me to evacuate the house. Since I am paying Rs. 21000/month in house rent, to hire a new house requires to pay at least three months advance and some other shifting expenses required to settle down at new place. At the same time, I need to look for a new school for my children studying in Grade 10, grade 6 and grade 2. My oldest son has recently passed his Secondary School Examination and is looking for college admission.

 

I am poor but passionate Christian journalist and hardly making the both ends meet, it would be hard to meet the expenses required. In this situation, if any of you can support me to shift to another house and schooling of my children. I would be highly grateful to your contribution.

 

The total cost required is approximately $2000/ U.S., including shifting and schooling of the children. If you would like to contribute please note down the bank details or you can send your contribution through Western Union.

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

Bank-to-Bank Money Transfer

 

Account Name: SHAMIM MASIH, Account Number:  PK72ABPA0010025935800015

ABPAPKKA (Swift code)

Allied Bank Ltd. Sitara Market, Sector G-7 Markaz, Islamabad

Contact Number. +92 300 642 4560

 

Yours in Jesus,

 

Shamim Masih

_________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All source links are by the Editor

 

© Shamim Mahmood (Masih)

 

Give Voice to the Voiceless


Shamim Masih (Mahmood) is a Christian Human Rights activist and journalist from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In case you are unaware, Pakistan has some of the most stringent Islamic Blasphemy Laws enforced globally among Muslims. Blasphemy Laws are often used as a financial by greedy or vengeful Muslims that trump-up false charges for one kind of gain or another.

 

That is the environment that Christian-Pakistani Shamim has dealt with his whole life. You can imagine Shamim’s life and livelihood might be held by a thin thread that American Christians would consider incredulous in understanding.

 

I am asking you to be an advocate for Shamim Masih on a financial basis whether it is a one-time gift or an ongoing monetary support. Support for Shamim just could be a glimpse of hope for impoverished Christian-Pakistanis who live constantly under the thumb of Islamic Supremacism.

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

JRH 5/15/17

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Give Voice to the Voiceless

 

By Shamim Masih (Mahmood)

Sent 5/14/2017 9:58 PM

 

Respected Sir,

 

Based on my personal experience while covering the incidents of religious discrimination and persecution of Pakistan’s minorities’ communities in the recent years. I have observed that main stream media in Pakistan do not cover the persecution and religious discrimination. So I have planned to become the voice of the voiceless people of Pakistan. Thus starting “thecovenant.tv” with the aim not only to cover the routine events, but especially to become the voice of the voiceless people in Pakistan. Some work has been done on it and much to do. I am writing this letter to you seeking the support in this regard in any sense you can either financially or morally. Please Google me as “Shamim Masih” Below is the concept note please go through it and give your input.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Shamim

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SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

+++

Give Voice to the Voiceless

 

During the recent decade, it is observed that the national main stream media does play down incidents of religious discrimination and persecution of Pakistan’s minorities communities. This is partially due to government’s ‘requests (read orders)’ to newspapers editors and TV channel heads not to highlight or give extensive coverage to such issue as “they bring a bad to the country.” The other factors of lack of coverage of minorities’ communities is the fact that main stream channels are not very keen on giving a voice to the voiceless. There are only a handful of journalists belonging to minorities’ communities working in the mainstream media but they too are unable to project the plight of their people effectively as they have little or no say at all in editorial matters.

 

There is a dire need to produce more journalists from such communities’ train them professionally and provide them with a platform in the national media from where they can bring forth the issues facing their people as well reports persecution and discrimination meted out by the majority.

 

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[Blog Editor: Below is the text of an attachment sent along with the Shamim email. The attachment text is similar to the text of the Covenant Communication Shamim-profile page. Since there are some differences, I’ll stick with the attachment text which is a bit more detailed.]

 

SHAMIM MASIH, CHIEF EDITOR

Short Profile

 

Shamim Masih, a professional journalist with diverse work experience from humanitarian to journalism.  He has bilingual work experience at print and electronic media outlets; starting from Independent News Pakistan (INP) English desk to columnist at “Daily Times”. Shamim worked as a diplomatic correspondent with the leading Urdu paper, “Daily Khabrain & Channel 5”, Daily Mail, Daily Sama, Pakistan Today and presently working as Diplomatic Correspondent for Online International News Network, and lead reporter for “British Pakistani Christian Association”. As stringer he worked with BBC world service and other international media outlets.

 

He has vast experience of highlighting political and social issues. He has been covering the legislations at Parliament house to sectarian violence, covering from the UN Secretary General press conference to bombing at worship places and burning the Christians’ colonies accusing blasphemy. He has also interviewed the Federal Ministers and the Ambassadors in Pakistan. He was the first one to write for the Christian minor girl, Rimsha, falsely accused of blasphemy, who later got international attention.

 

He is ambassador of “Parliament of the World’s Religions” in Pakistan (https://parliamentofreligions.org/content/list-parliament-ambassadors). As a social reformer/peace maker, he has been arranging different seminars/conferences to promote peace and harmony between people from different faith, culture and background. He is a blogger and can be reached at http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/

 

Now days; I’m also working on new areas/proposals to promote peace and harmony at the media house, www.thecovenant.tv.

 

+++ 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Some links by the Editor. Text enclosed by bracket is by the Editor. The Western Union contact support data is by the Editor.

 

Covenant Communications About Page

 

The Covenant Communications’ inspires to be Pakistan’s leading independent web-based TV channel, and magazine by using the dynamics of media, diplomacy and peace to provide neutral and objective analysis of domestic, regional and international issues.

 

This especially focuses on issues like interfaith harmony, dialogue among communities, cultural diplomacy, religions, peace, extremism, dynamics of various conflicts and domestic politics. Our special emphasis remains on safeguarding the rights of sidelined community in Pakistan like children, women and non-Muslim communities in Pakistan by highlighting their issues effectively in the mainstream media.

 

‘The Covenant Communications’ team welcomes contributions in any form ranging from opinion pieces, reports highlighting various events connected to inter-faith harmony, domestic abuse, domestic politics, development issues and issues related to Pakistan’s domestic and foreign policy, development project descriptions and advertisements.

 

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Christmas Train Travelling from Khayber to Karachi


Shamim has an off and on perception of Islamic largesse in Pakistan. When terrorism strikes, he notes the hypocrisy of a Constitution that stipulates equal rights for all Pakistani citizens regardless of religious faith. A Constitution that also stipulates Pakistan is an Islamic Republic. A Pakistan that follows Sharia Law and enforces Blasphemy Laws that literally can lead to awaiting a death sentence in jail unless an observant Muslim mob kills the accused violator of the Muslim Blasphemy Law first.

 

During this Christmas season in Pakistan a combine Christian/Muslim effort has put together a Christmas Train that travels through various Pakistani cities ending at Karachi on New Years’ Eve. The object of the Christmas Peace Train is to promote harmony between the Sunni Islamic majority and the multiple religious minorities which in Shamim’s case include Christians. Apparently collective of dignitaries are providing peace speeches along the trip.

 

JRH 12/26/16

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Christmas Train Travelling from Khayber to Karachi

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent 12/24/2016 2:59 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Christians are peace ambassador in Pakistan and working to promote harmony in the country, says Kamran Michael. Talking to the media at launching [the] ceremony of [the] Christmas Peace Train at Margalla Railway Station, Islamabad Federal Minister for Human Rights Senator Kamran Michael reiterated his commitment to save the rights of the marginalized segment of the society including children, women and minorities in Pakistan.

Kamran Michael said that minorities have served the nation and Christmas Train initiative is to show the work done by the minorities’ representatives to fellow citizens of Pakistan.

 

Earlier, [the] Christmas Peace Train was launched from Islamabad as part of Christmas celebrations. Federal Minister for Human Rights Senator Kamran Michael and Minister for Railway Khawja Saad Rafique jointly inaugurated the Peace Train at Margala Railway station in Islamabad.  Besides, diplomats, officials of Railway and Human Rights; a large number of people were present on this occasion. Addressing the inaugural ceremony of [the] Peace Train, both Ministers expressed their happiness and said that this initiative is taken for the very first time in sub-continent in continuation of acknowledging those efforts which Christian community has made for Pakistan. This endeavor will be fruitful to minimize the distances between Muslims and Christian communities. They further added that Christian community has served this county with devotion and passion and we always acknowledge that struggle. This Peace Train would be a source of interfaith harmony and will reflect the strong bonds of Muslims and Christian communities.  Minister for Human Rights Kamran Michael said that the present day, Pakistan has become a Pakistan of our dreams with no differences of religion, cast, colors, or creed. He further expressed that [the] Peace Train is a symbol of peace, love, equality and harmony and it will spread the message of love and peace. He said that [the] Peace Train will create awareness about tolerance and interfaith harmony. Railway Minister, Saad Rafique said that minorities have been playing pivotal role in progress, development and prosperity of Pakistan.  Our constitution guarantees the equal rights to all citizens living in this country. We need to hold the hands of each other to touch prosperity and success. He urged Christians and Muslims to work collectivity by forgetting all differences for the sake of country.

Decorated with three galleries and two floats, [the] Christmas Peace Train started its journey from Peshawar and is scheduled to reach Karachi on December 31, 2016 by covering different cities like Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Lahore, Sahiwal, Rohri, Tando Adam and Hyderabad.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood [Masih]

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

email. shamimpakistan@gmail.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Eushaw

 

Journalist, Blogger and Social Reformer
http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/

+92-300-642-4560

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Edited by John R. Houk

All text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Mahmood [Masih]

 

Live Your Life – Let Others Live Too


Shamim Masih

Shamim Masih

Shamim Masih considers himself a patriotic Pakistani. It often filters his eyes that the Pakistani government will someday protect the rights of all Pakistanis. That is “all” is in not just the Sunni Islamic majority but also religious minorities of which Shamim is a Christian. Many Christians in Pakistan look back and revere Pakistan’s founder – Mohammad Ali Jinnah – secularist minded Muslim who felt a Hindu dominated India would not be a fair place for Muslims to live in.

 

It is my sense that Shamim is realizing that an Islam dominated Pakistan will always be a raw deal for Pakistani Christians.

 

JRH 4/4/16

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Live Your Life – Let Others Live Too

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 4/3/2016 3:46 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: With all respect to Muslims …… Multiculturalism is failure. And that was the reason for Pakistan. There is no point when Muslims migrating to Western Nations and imposing them to accept them or otherwise call them as racists. Do Christians migrate to Muslims nations? Do they accept Christians at all? Simply, no … But the fact is that Muslims do not let other religious minorities to live in their countries and to practice their religion freely. I am by birth Pakistani, not an immigrant; even before the partition [India/Pakistan partition 1947] my forefathers used to live in the same area called Punjab province. Somehow, in early 2000 we shifted to the Twin city (Islamabad/Rawalpindi) and settled living in rented houses, very obviously owned by Muslims.

 

[The best way to SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560]

 

Pakistan has become a Sunni Muslims dominated country and this sick mind-set has changed the concept of the creation of the country. Founder of the country, Mohammad Ali Jinnah struggled for a country where all people can live peacefully. He clearly announced that every person is free to live his life. On 12 March, 1949, the second constituent assembly of Pakistan passed the Objective Resolution which was proposed by the first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, proclaimed that the future constitution of Pakistan would not be modeled entirely on a European pattern, but on ideology and democratic faith of Islam. The legislative election in 1954 saw the Awami League coming to power and its leader Huseyn Suhrawardy becoming country’s first Bengali Prime Minister. Promulgation of constitution in 1956 leads Pakistan declaring itself Islamic Republic (official name) with the adoption of parliamentary democratic system of government.

 

Since then Islam phobia prevailed in the country and Mullahs are busy in spreading hate against other religions. Thousands of people have been either killed or sent to prisons saving Islam. Muslims believed that Islam is the only sacred religion and they are busy in saving it by killing others. Clerics are busy in giving fatwas and thus creating Mumtaz Qadris. [Blog Editor: Should be of interest – “Pakistan’s Islamic Religious Right Mobilizes Anew to Defend Blasphemy Laws and Try to Get Asia Bibi Hanged”]

 

Good Friday is a Christians’ ritual and its common practice that Christians gather for mass and worship God. Honestly speaking I am not too religious and do not attend church on a regular basis and on these types of occasions I usually worship at my home as I feel every man has his personal affiliation with his creator. There is more than one reason to it, as I am sick of so called pastors (religious businessmen) (will write on it later). So we, family members gathered for Good Friday service and started worshiping in our house. While the service was on someone knocked at the door, I went out to see and found the landlord there. He said that it’s not church and you are not allowed to say our prayer at home, if you want to [not] keep it [your home], continue [praying], better to leave the house. I explained to him that we did not invite others but [our] family members and [we are simply] praying on our religious event. But he was not satisfied and ordered us to leave the house. It’s not the first time, in June last year, when we gathered for my mother’s death anniversary, he disturbed our gathering.

 

Is this country made for Muslims only? Do we have no right to live our lives? Will justice be done? Is this a safe place for our children? I know that government issuing statements that minorities are given equal rights and some minority parliamentarians are doing the same. Some so-called patriotic [Pakistanis] claim try to show their loyalty by criticizing others. But my question is; where does a common Christian person stands? A major portion of Pakistani Christians are living below the poverty line and the same segment faces problems in everyday life.

 

Pakistan is a Muslim dominated country and Muslims have changed the societal culture by building mosques and madrassas on every corner but Christians are not allowed to build [Churches or pray in own homes]. In the capital, Islamabad only, there are hundreds mosques and madrassas are constructed illegally. The Founder of the nation, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, created this country and [proclaimed] given rights [for all religions]. But his successors have changed his ideology. These hardline clerics are defaming the face of Pakistan not we Christians……

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

 

Journalist, Blogger and Human Rights Activist
http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/

 

The best way to SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

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Edited by John R. Houk

All text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor. All links are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih