LAHORE: Christians of Youhanabad urged to open shops in the area in a social media drive amid golden jubilee celebrations in the neighbourhood.
President of Canadian Chapter of Pakistan Christian Congress- Raymond Wallace Durrani posted this status on his Facebook Timeline: “Today, it has completed its 50 years and we are celebrating Golden Jubilee of Youhanabad. It is very sad, as Muslim shopkeeper said,” he would not close his shop, go away, I know your protests, who you are to do this……”
Raymond further commented: “IT IS SHAME FOR ALL CHRISTIANS IN PAKISTAN and Christians should open their own stores for Christian need in Christian TOWNS. It is only way to stand up on your feet.”
The widely circulated reported dispute between residents of Youhanabad and a shopkeeper on the social media continues to exasperate many:
“The incident was reported when the local Christians in the neighbourhood burning with anger called for all the shopkeepers in the area to shut their shops as they staged protest against the All Saints Church suicide bombings on 22nd of September, 2013. Among those who were asked to close their shutters were Billa; who fervently refused to comply by their demand retaliating with insulting and abusive rejoinder.
According to details, Billa owns a grocery shop in Youhanabad and as soon as he hurled insults the already infuriated Christians tried to shut his shop with force meanwhile he ran to the roof of his. The incident soon got serious when the matter was reported to religious leaders of the area and later Bila was asked to confess his misbehaviour in front of the clerics after which he would be allowed to open his shop.
Nonetheless, Billa refused to confess and sought help of some of the influential people of Youhanabad publicly known as Chaudhries namely Billa Pan Wala- incumbent head of Shopkeeper Anjaman, Goga Choudhry- Former head of Shopkeeper Anjaman and Dickson David. These men authorized him to open his shop and run his business without making any effort to resolve the dispute on priority basis. In the following days, as Billa opened his shop a boy inquired who allowed him to reopen his shop. The dialogue soon turned into a heated discussion as the boy got furious. Later, Billa called police, after the arrival of police the quarrel ended. However, the incident has had a deep impact on the social harmony in Youhanabad causing a clash between residents of the neighbourhood.