Church leader offers condolences to the bereaved families of Mubarakabad Basti in Toba Tek Singh. The incident took place on Christmas Eve when dozens of people consumed toxic liquor, and were affected. As a result more than 50 died and at least 150 others are in critical condition. Death toll is expected to rise, while some of the victims complain of losing eye sight.
In the wake of tragic incident, The National Commission for Justice and Peace of Pakistan (NCJP) has extended deep sorrow for the deaths of 50 people, mostly Christians, from tainted homemade liquor during Christmas revelry. The incident occurred in Toba Tek Singh’s predominantly Christian neighborhood.
President of National Commission for Justice and Peace Mgr Joseph Arshad, Archbishop of Faisalabad, visited the bereaved families and offered his condolences. “This tragic event, turned the joyous festivity of Christmas into mourning with many lives still hang in the balance due to critical conditions of many patients,” he said.
Afterwards, Bishop Joseph Arshad also visited the hospital and inquired after the health of those critically ill. During the meeting, he prayed for their quick recovery and also for the departed souls. “Life is uncertain, but such untimely and terrible death is hard to cope with. May God grant you the strength to overcome this terrible loss,” he told patients and their relatives.
Bishop Arshad while speaking on behalf of the NCJP said that “A judiciary inquiry needs to be conducted to bring the perpetrators to justice.” At the same time Father Emmanuel Yousaf, National Director NCJP and Cecil Chaudhry, executive director of the NCJP also extended their condolences and wishes for the ill. They urged the government to provide “compensation to the victims’ families.”
In this connection, a Christian activist Anil Thomas remarked: “Most Christians do not have enough money to buy good quality liquor, tested and approved by the authorities. The result is that they prefer another route to alcoholic beverages, and use alcohol used for medical purposes, which has adverse effects on health, and can, in some cases, cause death. We demand a ban on substandard liquor and alcohol in Pakistan.”