A Christian religious organization has appealed the government of Pakistan to bestow exceptional permission to Christians for journey to the sacred places in Israel.
The demand was made at a press conference orgnaized at the Karachi Press Club on Saturday by a Christian religious organization, God’s Peoples Fellowship of Pakistan (GPFP), to draw attention to the troubles being faced by the Christian people in visiting Israel.
Ashraf P. Butt, Secretary General of GPFP said: “People of different religions such as Hindus and Sikhs often visit the holy places in Pakistan in order to be able to perform their religious obligations despite the fact that both Pakistan and India fought three wars. But as Pakistan neither recognizes Israel nor do we maintain any ties with it, the Christian community in Pakistan is being deprived of its legitimate religious rights.”
“Even Malaysia, which is a Muslim state, has granted permission to their Christian citizens for pilgrimage to the land of the Holy Bible to perform religious rituals,” Ashraf P. Butt
“We also want the ban on visiting Israel mentioned in Pakistani passports lifted,” he said, while appealing the government of Pakistan to make essential measures for Christians’ pilgrimage to the sacred places in Israel.
Christians deem Bethlehem, Jerusalem, the holy city of King David, the Skull place where Jesus Christ was crucified, Nazareth, Galil and others such places sacred. Therefore, we pray to court to issue a writ of Mandamus directing the government to take immaculate steps for facilitating pilgrimage for millions of Christians and also the thousands of Jewish people living in Pakistan.
In a civil petition No CP 87-K/2014 filed by GPFP’s deputy secretary general Aamir Suleman Aziz in the Supreme Court of Pakistan the respondents, namely Federation of Pakistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Interior Ministry, Director General Passports, Ministry of Minorities and Religious Affairs, Ministry of Law Justice & Human Rights and the United Nations through its representative in Pakistan, have been reminded that Pakistan has duly recognized India and is under the process to give it a status of Most Favored Nation while enjoying diplomatic ties and trade relations with that country.
“All we want is passage to Israel to fulfil our religious obligations. We are aware that this can be done through the Church of England, too, but that is a very expensive and lengthy procedure. So the affluent Christians get to go to Israel while the common ones are being deprived of it,” he said.