Sialkot, a city on the rise to religious extremism. By .Dr .Emanuel Adil Ghouri

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Although Sialkot is a small city in Pakistan, it is famous worldwide for its industry. It is one of the largest cities in Pakistan in terms of Christian population.

When Christianity arrived  in this country, the first person who accepted Jesus was from this city.

In the year 2023, just as two major cities of Pakistan, Faisalabad and Sargodha were victims of religious extremism, in the first five months of 2024, religious fanaticism is heading towards its peak in Sialkot. From January to May, 6 Christian girls faced forced marriage and conversion Four minor Christian girls were abducted and converted into forced marriages.

According to Pakistani law, Marriage Act 2015 and Amendment Bill 2024, this is a crime which is clearly punishable, yet no cases have been registered against the accused and their facilitators, which shows that the police  is held hostage by religious fanatics and is reluctant to arrest such accused due to their pressure.

After the tragedy of Juranawala , the conspiratorial scene to target the religious extremism of Kharota Syedans in the nearby villages of Sialkot city .

 Kharota Syedan ​​is a large settlement in Kotli Loharan police station area. There are about 300 to 400 Christian families living here and the Catholic Church. There are many Pentecostal churches including the Church of Pakistan 

For the past one year some unknown people have been throwing insulting religious words on the currency notes and sometimes the pages of the Holy Quran have been torn and thrown away, which has caused a lot of unpleasant incidents after religious provocation.

So that the above incidents were reported to the police in time and two cases were registered against the unknown accused in the police station Kotli Loharan with the efforts of the District Peace Committee and the local police so that no untoward incident could take place.

However, a Christian woman, Stella Bibi, was arrested on the basis of suspicion, who will later be released if not found guilty.

 

In the same way, two Christian youths were abducted by the extremists and physically tortured and forcibly converted to Islam. They were threatened with arrest for blasphemy if they did not change their religion. 

Now on May 14, Stella Bibi, a Christian woman age  30s  a mother of a two-year-old child, has been arrested on suspicion of blasphemy in a previous case.who has been in the custody of the local police for the last 10 days. The police are under pressure from religious extremists as the plaintiff in the case, Syed Muhammad Jawad Shah, is a member of the religious extremist group Tehreek-e-Labeek.

There is intense fear in the area due to which no Christian political social religious leader is able to come to the aid of Stella Bibi.If she is guilty, she should be punished, but denying her family and her lawyers access to the accused to investigate her on merit is a violation of her fundamental human rights.Stella Bibi is not getting any help from Christian organizations and NGOs working for human rights.Even her husband Khuram Masih has gone into hiding due to the threats to his life. Their two year old child is in the house of a close relative. Many organizations seeking dollars from abroad in the name of persecution are waiting for a case to be filed against Stella Bibi instead of helping her to prove her innocence and release her from police custody.So that the FIR of the case filed against him can be highlighted in Europe and America and money can be earned by pretending to help in his name.

The evidence on the basis of which Stula Bibi has been arrested is insufficient for the present case But due to lack of timely legal aid and pressure from religious parties, it is very possible to file a case against him and send her to prison 

It is highly probable that he was transferred to prison before the publication of this artical

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