WCC report of pastoral team visit to Pakistan is unbalanced and substandard.


The Six-member team of World Council of Churches WCC visited Lahore and Karachi from November 2-10. There is no doubt that WCC is very effective and representative forums of churches around the world. The governments in third world countries undertak

Many commissions, sub commissions and human right organizations use such reports for the ready reference. Therefore, The reports of WCC are not such reports that it may be read and just forgotten like ordinary daily routine items when this establishment of churches becomes more forceful with heavy amount of funds and with the news and media owned by it or by its component church organization to create impact on the contents of their reports. Its very important event for Christian of Pakistan that WCC pastoral team visited Pakistan when 2000-2002 were the worst in respected of human right violations in Pakistan, churches, schools and bases of charities were attacked by the religious Muslim militant groups and many innocent Christian were martyred. The election 2002 under joint elections was widely condemned by the Christian political leaders, which were always pleaded by the WCC and its affiliated churches in Pakistan. The Christians have due hopes and expectations by the true and effective recommendations from these delegations to improve the detriot situation of Christians in Pakistan.

The report issued by WCC officials after visit to Pakistan is very long and seems that it have covered all the issues and miseries of the poor and depressed Christians of Pakistan. It is nice piece of paper work to satisfy any western individual who is not fully aware of the true situations of Christian minority in Pakistan but when any general Christians from Pakistan shall go through this report, he shall be forced to access that WCC delegation report has not covered all issue impartially. The report have termed the present Pervaz Mushraf military government by itself a violation to the human rights in its general observations and even expressed its concerns over the attacks of allied forces to curb terrorism from globe in the Afghanistan. The report has duly shown the concern over Islamic laws and judicial system in Pakistan. The WCC report is not fully satisfied over the transparency of election 2002 in Pakistan with reference to the reports on international monitors in Pakistan during October 10, 2002 elections. The WCC is also worried over the success of religious parties in the elections when the report do, t consider the Pervaz Mushraf military regime as democratic representative body but hails the amendments in the constitution by this government and specially the revival of Joint Election in Pakistan.

When we discuss the sources of WCC information in Pakistan. WCC team met 7 Bishops from Catholic Church and Church of Pakistan, the 3 reverend fathers from Catholic Church and 1 pastor from church of Pakistan. There are 4 church laymen on their meeting list too. No one have objection on these particular meetings because WCC is by itself a religious body and reserve rights to meet hosts in Pakistan. The organizers of the meeting also arranged meeting of the delegation with 4 church of Pakistan and Catholic church representative nominated in the Crisis Committee to look in to the matters of Christian charity "Justice and Peace" which was attacked by the terrorists and 7 staff members were brutally murdered in Karachi.

There were meetings of this WCC pastoral team with Aurat Foundation, Shikargah, Human rights commission of Pakistan and Pak American Solidarity Society, when all these NGO have been run by Muslims and funded by the western countries with out any representation of local Christians in them. In meetings with dignitaries of Pakistan WCC team met with 9 Muslim and 2 Christians personals from Pakistan Air Force. In meetings with jurists and lawyers there were 4 Muslim retired judges and one Muslim president of SHC Bar Association. Among the political leaders, there are 3 Muslim leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party PPP and 2 from the foreign missions of USA and Iraq. So, these were the only sources of information's to prepare this report of WCC about Pakistan. The observations and recommendations of WCC reports base on discussions and presentations of these all meetings about the situation of Christians of Pakistan.

When Christians of Pakistan consider the WCC report Unbalance and Substandard, it mean that this report does not represent the wishes and will of general Christians on issue of joint election system and other major issues of Christians in Pakistan. There is not any Christians member of parliament and representative of city governments on the schedule of meeting of WCC delegation when there were dozens of such Christian leaders in Lahore and Karachi who were elected under separate elections from 1985-1998 and the local meeting organizers of this delegation were fully aware of the presence of these Christian leaders in respective cities. There were Christian political leadership also present in Lahore and Karachi but it was ignored in these meetings. The report indicates that arrangements of meetings were scheduled by on person who is known as failed political leader and successful NGO worker was fully aware and misled the WCC delegation to arrange their meetings with J Salik, the ex Federal minister and petitioner against these constitutional amendment package by this government in Supreme court of Pakistan and Federal Shariat Courts of Pakistan.

Bishop Ruffin Julius, The ex Federal Minister and many other Christian Punjab cabinet ministers were present in Lahore. Why the meetings were not arranged with Patras Ghani, A prominent leaders of Christians from Lahore, very famous for his rallies and hunger strikes against the blasphemy laws? Why, there was not any meeting of this delegation with Zia Khokhar, Shahbaz Siddique, Bishop T Nasir, and Peter Gill, who have been observing hunger strikes against blasphemy laws, implementations of Islamic Laws on minorities, against all discriminatory laws and against joint elections for minorities in Pakistan? Why the Ex parliamentarian like Bashir alam Bhatti, Micheal Javeed, Salim Khokhar and Monica Karmran were neglected by the orgnisers in Karachi for the presentations with the delegation? Why Morris Sadiq, Norris Gill, Shamim gill, Rafiq Sabir, Raja Yousaf Bhatti, Baxtor Bhatti, Riaz shahid, and Naeem ul zaman khokhar were not on the list of meetings in Karachi when they have been arrested many times on Marching against blasphemy laws and other Islamic laws in Pakistan? When the delegation met the jurists in Lahore and Karachi, why prominent Christian's lawyers were not put on schedule of meeting when there are dozens of Christian advocates in the Karachi and Lahore Bar associations. Why the meetings of social workers were not on agenda of this delegation? Why the WCC delegation was kept away from general Christian's presentations and meetings to understand the facts and will of Christians in Pakistan? It makes very crystal clear that only hose meetings were arranged which were supportive to the cause of the host or the person responsible of the arrangements of the meetings. In such situation WCC report cannot be counted as the Balanced or standard report as there is no evidence that this team met with the true representatives of the Christians in Pakistan.

The delegation of WCC was kept away from the true leadership of Christians in Pakistan to avoid the facts and to prepare the report of their own choice. We recommend that in future if any effective delegation visits Pakistan, the meetings may be arranged with the true human right activists who have been organizing rallies, staging hunger strikes and issuing press note against all discriminatory laws and national press covers their events of arrests for Christian community in Pakistan. We wish to bring on record that church based international news agencies and print media also neglects the true Christian representatives and issues the statements of these NGO workers who slip away from all the Christian campaigns and struggles in Pakistan and still recognized as human right activists in the west only on long reports and paper work, like the report of WCC...

Therefore the recent report of WCC is as good as fine piece of paper work, prepared in the drawing rooms of their meeting with privileged class of Christians and Muslims in Pakistan but not a standard repot when true Christian leadership and poor Christian individual is not present in meetings which have been arranged only to express the objectives on issues of only particular class of Christians in Pakistan.

The particular group and organs in Pakistan, to impose their theory and thoughts on 15 million Christians of Pakistan have wasted the money and time of the WCC delegates and made this report unbalanced and substandard. We appeal to all the western delegation visiting Pakistan in future to visit the residential areas of poor Christians, to meet local social workers, the youth, the elders and elected Christian representatives to know the true face of persecution, poverty and victimization of Christians in Pakistan.

Nazir S Bhatti

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