SAHIWAL: Christians fearful of an attack flee from their homes amid rising tensions between Christians and Muslims.
According to details, approximately half of Christian populace residing in 38/12-L village flee from their houses anticipating an anti-Christian riot. This grave situation aroused in suburb of Chichawatni, where nearly half of Christian inhabitants run away as a consequence of heightening tensions between local Christian and Muslim communities.
In consistency with the information, the fearful Christians withdrew from the village leaving their houses and moving to safer places on Saturday, 3rd of August, 2013 in the early hours following as hostility between local Muslim and Christian communities increased over a slight issue.
According to locals, the dispute aroused when an unknown man removal a green cloth inscribed with Islamic verses from a grave of a Muslim in graveyard and laid it on the grave of a Christian. Few people attempted to provoke communal hostility on the basis of this issue; however elders heading both communities arbitrated, settling the dispute for the meantime and warding off a clash.
The District Police Officer Syed Khurram Ali Shah on the other hand said that,” the situation was under control and negotiations among elders of all religious communities of the village on Saturday evening were successful.”
He further stated that,” both Muslims and Christians had agreed that they would not blame each other for this provocative act.”
In contrast to the DPO’s outlook of the incident, Nasreen Awan, a representative of a non-government organisation, in addition to local Christians said,” the Christians were feeling insecure and threatened after the incident. Many left their houses for the time being.”
Additionally, natives say,” Christians and Muslims have been living in the village peacefully for the last 50 years and this is the first time that some unseen hands have tried to incite a clash between the two communities.”