45 years old Roshan Masih, a Pakistani Christian was assaulted and died later, on 16th February 2013, in Lahore, after having a heated conversation over religion with a Muslim, named Sohail Akhtar.
Roshan Masih (Previous hindu name “Lal Ram “) migrated from Metro Basti Tehsil Fortabas, Behawal Nagar 20 years ago and setteled in Lahore, living at Jughian Asam Town. He came to settle in a new place after coverting from Hinduism to Christianity, accepting Christ as his saviour.
A few days before he was assualted by the muslim culprit, he got into a trivial argument over a sensitive issue of religion with the same muslim man reportedly Sohail Akhtar, who shot him in rage afterwards.
Roshan Masih in his conversation with the culprit Sohail Akhtar apparently defended Christian doctrines. It was not not long that the casualy trivial talk changed into a heated argument and result in a quarrel. After this incident, one day while Roshan Masih was sitting outside a shop of his fellow chritian, reportedly to be Sadiq Masih, Sohail Akhtar, finding his opportunity shot at him with a rifle that he was already carrying. Roshan Maish 45 years old died on the spot after being shot.
After the brutal incident, on Saturday 16 February 2013, Ghulam Abbas (Ex. Union Councilor, Fortabas) communicated with Lead’s Chief Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill reporting him about the murder of an innocent Christian on such trivial basis. And asked for his legal assistance in registering a FIR and in other court matters in getting Roshan Masih and his family justice. Taking the matter in his hand LEAD’s chief advocate stepped out and registered a FIR against the Muslim culprt under section 302 PPC bearing NO. 150/13 at Lahore Cantonment Police station.
The Murderer Sohail Akhtar is reportedly arrested and is under police custody now.
“This is truly a tragedy: an innocent man is slain for defending his faith in a simple argument. The episode is emblematic of the conditions of Pakistani Christians. The authorities have a duty to guarantee the basic rights of Christian minorities”, said LEAD attorney Sardar Mushtaq Gill.
The Pakistani Christian community is devastated and frightened by the incident as this has not been the first discriminatingly saddening event taking place for living in a free Islamic state as Christians,where we are said to have rights and freedom but in reality we face hatred, abuse, discrimination and rage that always result into extreme crimes. And what makes it worse is that no Govt. official or any authority seems to step forward and take the situation seriously and think on coming up with some reforming activity for securing the rights and freedom of minorities in Pakistan.