Pakistani Christian lawyer Farrukh Saif Harrison has reiterated that Christians are loyal citizens of Pakistan, yet they face many problems in their homeland. Speaking at the office of the United Nations in Geneva, on September 18, Monday Pakistani lawyer detailed the plight of Christians in Pakistan.
Farrukh Saif was attending a conference on “Persecution of Christian Minorities in Pakistan,” where he outlined the situation of Pakistani Christians. He said that he was privileged to speak about the persecution of Christians in Pakistan.
An excerpt from Farrukh Saif’s speech at the UN office is as below:
“The issue of the persecution of the religious minorities is not new to the International community, in-fact Pakistan has been declared as one of the dangerous countries for the Religious Minorities by the US state department and other renowned research centers of the world.
Before going further about the Religious Persecution in Pakistan, I would like to point out that Pakistan was never envisioned as a country for Muslims only. Mr. Jinnah, prior to the Independence of Pakistan stated on 14th Nov 1946
‘I am not fighting for Muslims, believe me, when I demand Pakistan.’
It is a clear message by the Founder of Pakistan that he was neither working for Muslims nor envisioned a theoretical state. His aim was to build a secular separate country for the religious minorities of India,” he maintained as he introduced the idea that Pakistan was originally meant to a country for all.
Farrukh said that Christians have always supported Pakistan since its creation till date. “Christians played vital role in the creation and development of Pakistan and till day we are the most loyal citizens of Pakistan.” He added that despite this, Christians are facing several problems.
“The discrimination and persecution of Christians and other Religious minorities are rooted in the constitution of 1973, drafted by Zulifqar Ali Bhutto’s Government and approved by the parliament on 10th April 1973. Due to this new constitution all, the religious minorities were barred from any higher official status the in government.”
Talking about the burning issue of the misuse of the blasphemy law in Pakistan, he said “Since 1987 to 2017, so far 222 cases of Blasphemy laws have been registered against Christians. This law has been used to settle down the personal vendetta against the oppressed and persecuted Christian community.
By using Blasphemy law, many Christian Colonies and villages were set on fire by the fanatic Muslims. Shanti Nagar, Baminwala, Koriyan, Christian Colony Gojra and Badmi bahag are few of such places which were destroyed and ransacked by the Muslim fundamentalists.”
Explaining about the attacks on churches, he said that “Extremists mindset started targeting the churches and Christian events. on 22nd September 2013, a twin suicide bomb attack took place at All Saints Church Peshawar in which 132 people lost their lives and more than 200 people were seriously injured.
A Similar sort of attack took place on 15th March 2015, at Roman Catholic Church and Christ Church during the Sunday service at Youhanabad Lahore, in which at least 21 people were killed and 48 were wounded in the attacks. On 27th March 2016, on Easter Sunday, at least 64 people were killed and over 246 injured in a suicide bombing in Lahore.”
Farrukh Saif also briefed the audience about the recent case of a Christian student Sharoon Masih who was killed by his classmate on the pretext of drinking water from the same glass which was used by rest of the students.
“Christian discrimination and Persecution is on its hype in Pakistan on 27th August 2017 when a teenage Christian Boy Sharoon Masih, who was studying at MC Model Boys Government High School in the Punjab was beaten to death by his fellow school student for drinking the water from the same cup used by Muslims students.”
Watch Farrukh Saif speaking at the UN office in Geneva