Senator Sherry Rehman taking note of CIP’ report has strongly criticized government; for its slackness to take action over the incident of Christian ice-cream vendor’ beating by a mob in Kot Imam Din village of Punjab. “We realize that we all have a long way to go in building equality. Pakistan cannot continue to tolerate continual religious persecution of its minorities. They are not second-class citizens and should not be treated as such,” she said.
Sherry Rehman, Vice President of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) took the federal and provincial governments to task over procrastination regarding the incident of a Christian ice-cream vendor Khaleel Masih beaten and tortured by a mob for selling “unclean merchandise to Muslim children.”
“Inaction on this, and other similar incidents will amount to tacit approval of the state. The government must take immediate notice of it. Ignoring this will just lead to more hate crimes against an already persecuted religious minority,” she said. While referring to Islamic teachings about treatment of minorities, Senator Sherry Rehman said, “Islam teaches us compassion, and to care for the weak and poor without differentiating on the basis of cast, creed, or religion. Let us stay true to the teachings of the religion we follow.”
PPP lawmaker went on to urge the law enforcement agencies to take immediate action against the perpetrators. She urged the government to be diligent in treating the minorities equally as the Muslim citizens. The government needs to take a clear position on how it treats its citizens, especially the marginalized and vulnerable. It needs to have a plan of action that we can all uphold and pursue,” she said.
As reported earlier by CIP, 42-years-old, Khaleel Masih, resident of Changa Manga, went to Kot Imam Din village on May 17, in order to sell ice-creams. As he was selling his merchandise, two Muslim villagers namely Muhammad Farman and Muhammad Rizwan came up to him and started abusing and humiliating him calling him “Choora.”
“They called me Choora, and then they began accusing me of selling unclean merchandise to Muslim children,” Khaleel Masih said. Soon another twenty men gathered and joined in the torturing of the Christian while the bystanders started chanting scornful slogans saying, “Christians are untouchables!…they should not be allowed to sell anything edible to Muslims.”