To end the attacks on Churches in Pakistan.


To discuss the sad situations of extremist militant attacks on the churches from last one year and killing the innocent Christian worshipers in Pakistan, we must look in the behavior of the government on the first incident of Muslim extremists attack

The call of that attack was announced by one extremist religious group, which had the presence in the National Assembly of Pakistan and Provincial Assembly of Punjab. The tribunal under acting justice of Punjab High Courts was constituted to probe in the incident and to recommend the appropriate action against the responsible elements.

The said tribunal had its proceedings in Multan but unfortunately the reports and findings of the tribunal were not published to take action against culprits. This was the ever first tribunal constituted to make recommendations on minority incidents on demand of the Christian leaders. The report of this tribunal was not brought to public because the government was not sincere to arrest the powerful religious group leaders who have been nominated by the tribunal report. The government was fully aware of the responsible elements but lingered on the issue to take time to file this matter forever.

If the administration have adopted necessary measure against these militants, involved in the attacks on Shanti Nagar on February 5, 1997, The situation might have been different and there were not going to be more attacks on Bahawalpur church, Islamabad Church, Christian School Murree and recent attack on Taxila Church, killing 32 Christian worshipers so far and injuring dozens in these terrorist attacks and damaging the image of Pakistan in the international community.
The important factor behind, to neglect the arrests of culprits involved in the Attacks on Christian Village Shanti Nagar in Punjab, was very clear at that time because these were the same groups being used as freedom fighters in occupied Kashmir. The ISI, the intelligence wing of Pakistan Armed Forces was providing training to these groups as well as the required arms to act accordingly in the Kashmir. That was the one reason that government ignored to arrests the elements of these groups involved in Shanti Nagar incident.

For instance, lets discuss the role of Pakistani Police for this ready reference that they have made the jails in Pakistan over crowded with inmates. The majority of these inmates are the arrested by police on use of drugs, drug pushers and loiterers who have been traveling under unavoidable circumstances but unable to present the national identity cards. Jails are full of the inmates involved in street fights and fights on enmity among different groups. The travelers on buses are also among the inmates who are termed as the suspicious in the eyes of police on the check posts maintained after every five miles on high ways and in the round up of the police pickets. There are 2.5 percent of inmates in jails involved in robberies, murders and possesion of illegal weapons. This is among the routine investigations that police picks the mothers, young sisters and elderly fathers and keeps them under wrongful confinements to press upon the criminals to present them selves for the arrests to the police.

We have presented this scenario of police activity to challenge claims that Mujahdeen cross the borders at their own and government is not involved in these acts. Is it possible for peaceful citizen to keep and carry the arms like machine guns and rocket launchers from the cities of Pakistan to the border areas without being checked at the posts of police on highways who are so efficient to arrests the suspicious persons not carrying their identity cards with them by any human mistake and armed militants are left free to move from central cities to the border areas without any check. Its amazing story which any reasonable person can not believe that militants can move without the camouflage of the high ups of the government.

Few months back when the government of Pakistan joined the international community in the war against terrorism. It was announced that Kashmir and Afghanistan cells in the inter services intelligence ISI have been ended to satisfy the international community that ISI is no more in support of these militant groups in Pakistan which was indirectly acceptance by the government of Pakistan that ISI was involved in the camp training and arms provisions to these militant groups to launch guerilla fights in occupied Kashmir and Afghanistan. When ISI was behind this militancy training camps, it's sure that they might have kept the profiles and records of all the trained militants with ability to establish contact with them whenever required. It clarifies that Armed Forces of Pakistan have enough knowledge of these militant and also capability to arrests them but why these militants are free to act against the poor and peaceful Christian citizen of Pakistan and government pretends to be unable to make arrests in this regard.

As the concept of Jihad in the majority sects of Muslims population in Pakistan was preached strongly and these majority sect of Muslims were preferred in such training of militancy in Pakistan. Few years back these majority sects militant groups used their training and arms against their other Muslim brothers being less in numbers in Pakistan in the same way be attacking the mosques and killing the worshipers and these actions of terrorisms prolonged by both side but never any important arrests were made by the government to end these killings among the Muslim brother when they were fully aware of the identifications of the responsible groups and elements.

When allied forces attacked Afghanistan to curb terrorism and Afghan and Kashmir cells were active in ISI establishment, very loudly and openly in the mosques sermons, the decrees were issued to kill two Pakistani Christians on killing of one Muslim militant. We invited the attentions of the government of Pakistan as well as the international community to take notice of this religious decree and to adopt necessary measures of security and safety of poor Christians in Pakistan. Christians of Pakistan were under constant threats of Muslim militant and there were killings by these groups of Christian individuals during the war against terrorism in Afghanistan. Now when these militant groups have lost their base in Afghanistan, they are still moving freely in Pakistan and poor Christians are their easy prey under the decree issued during the attacks on Afghanistan by the allied forces.

In these circumstances Christians are in fear of life and property in Pakistan and recent attacks on churches and massacre of Christian worshippers have put them on verge of fear. Therefore it's the foremost duty of the government to check every militant trained by them and every militant involved in the terror acts in Kashmir and Afghanistan by the profiles in the record and arrest them immediately to end these terror attacks on Christians before the situation is worsened to such extent that Christian may demand the government of Pakistan to open the borders for them to take refuge in the neighboring countries.

Nazir S Bhatti

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