Gujranwala: Blasphemy accused elderly Christian awaits bail

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Blasphemy accusation sends a 70-year-old elderly Pakistani Christian reeling as he awaits bail. Mukhtar Masih has been embroiled in a blasphemy case; while the accusers had claimed that Mukhtar had written blasphemous messages. The respondent has urged believers all over the world, to pray for his release.

Pakistani Christians arrested in blasphemy case

Blasphemy accusations were leveled against Mukhtar Masih on Saturday 28th January, followed by detention of his entire family. Consequently, Christian charity group British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) has provided for legal assistance for the battered family.

Also Read: Supreme Court of Pakistan grants bail to a Christian accused of blasphemy

In this connection, Advocate Abdul Hameed Rana has submitted a bail petition; the bail plea will be heard by the District Session Court Gujranwala on February 11, 2017. While speaking to his defense counsel Mukhtar Masih said: “I have done nothing wrong I only own a small property, but as our village has grown the value of our land has increased and this has made local Muslims jealous.

“They wanted to take my land so they could earn a profit and offered me very little to sell the property. I refused and now I am in prison. My children cry for me and my grandchildren too. I have grown weaker from my own desire to see them again before I die. My God removed the shackles from Paul I believe he will remove them from me so I pray fervently. Please pray with me,” BPCA reports.

The complainants in this case include the Imam of the local mosque Qari Shahbaz Hussain, Sabir Ali, Pervaiz Ahmed, Muhammed Anwer and Muhammed Mansha who has maintained in their compliant that Mukhtar Masih had written blasphemous letters containing derogatory comments towards Prophet Muhammad and the Quran. These letters were received by a local Imam on January 26.

Consequent to the allegations, Mukhtar has maintained that he did not commit blasphemy and has insisted that language expert could recognize that the writing was not his. Furthermore, Mukhtar also claims that in Pakistani society Christians or any other minority member could not commit blasphemy and jeopardize his and his family’s life.

Mukhtar Masih’s son told the BPCA that: “These charges are completely false my father is innocent. We tried explaining this to the police but they still arrested us and they beat my elderly father and me with their lathi (stick) trying to force a confession.

I am sure that if you look at the letters the writing will not match my fathers. He would never dare enact such an offensive crime knowing it would endanger his family. Some men have been chasing us for our property and were offering a very low price. They threatened to kill us if we did not leave and now this has happened.”

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