A Balochistan press club which mourned the loss of 3 journalists last year has now been ordered to expel four Christian journalists.
The press club in Quetta, the Baloch capital, received a letter claiming to have come from a new Islamist extremist group, ordering four Christian journalists to be banned.
The letter, from a group called Fidayeen-e-Islam (Islam’s Men of Sacrifice) reads, “Don’t you feel ashamed over what a few Christian [journalists] are doing for a long time [in the press club]? We tell you that photojournalists Musa Masih, Kelvin Masih and Naseem Masih, and Geo [TV] cameraman Naseem James are spreading their faith through an unnamed TV channel. The group leader Musa Masih … is converting Muslims to infidels …. As Muslims, we warn you for the last time that it would be beneficial for you to ban from the press club blasphemers of Islam and our beloved Prophet … or else our fighters will raid the press club …. You are Muslim and we are Muslim and we don’t want to cause any harm to you.”
Musa Farman, wrongly identified as Musa Masih in the letter has rejected all claims of a Christian channel being run by any of them. Farman is president of the Balochistan Photojournalist Association and also chairman of the election committee of the Balochistan Union of Journalists.
He said, “These accusations are all baseless. It is quite possible that someone in the press club bears a grudge against us.” Despite all these challenges, Christian journalists have been asked to take precautionary measures.