17 January 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 11/09/2017, 14.12

    PAKISTAN

    A week of prayer in memory of Shama and Shahzad, a Christian couple tortured and killed three years ago

    Shafique Khokhar

    The two were accused of blasphemy. The government has a duty to protect its citizens, as enshrined in the Constitution. Their orphaned children are supported with love and care by the Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation.

    Lahore (AsiaNews) - Three years after the brutal killing of Shama and Shahzad Masih, a young Christian couple, the Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation (CICF) held a week of prayer to remember them.

    The Foundation also used the occasion to appeal to Pakistani authorities to ensure the "security and protection of all its citizens regardless of faith, caste or gender [. . .] as enshrined in the Constitution".

    Since the death of the couple, the foundation has been responsible for the education of three of their orphaned children, whilst a fourth child was adopted by an uncle.

    On 4 November 2014, at Kot Radha Kishan in Kasur District (about 60km from Lahore), a crowd of more than 400 people stoned Shahzad Masih and his wife Shama, then burnt them alive in a furnace. Shama was pregnant when the couple was accused of blasphemy.

    A colleague of Shahzad, working at a kiln factory, claimed to have seen Shama burn pages of the Qurʾān.

    In the statement issued by the Foundation, President Michelle Chaudhry mentioned the horror that “will remain in our hearts and minds".

    “[T]hey did not only burn two precious lives in that furnace; they burnt humanity, they burnt the teachings of Islam and they burnt Jinnah’s Pakistan* and no amount of monetary reparations can atone for such extreme acts of violence.”

    The Christian couple left several young children, aged 18 months to eight years. The eldest, Suleiman, also saw the murder of his parents. Since their death, the Foundation has taken charge of them, funding their education.

    “It gives us immense joy and spiritual gratification to see these children happy, confident and doing so well in life,” Chaudhry said.

    "With love, care and a healthy environment they are now well adjusted in school,” she added. What is more, they “are not only doing well academically but they also eagerly participate in the school’s extracurricular activities."

    The foundation is a non-profit non-governmental organisation that deals with disadvantaged groups and is named after the late Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry, a former fighter pilot and Catholic activist.

    * Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, envisaged a modern and secular Pakistan.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also



    Editor's choices

    KOREA
    North Korea will send a high-level Olympic delegation to Pyeongchang



    After two years of tensions, the first meeting between delegations from North and South Korea. Seoul proposes that North and South athletes march side by side in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games (February 9-25, 2018).


    VATICAN
    Pope: respect for the rights of persons and nations essential for peace



    In his address to diplomats, Francis asks for the solution to conflicts - starting with Syria - and tensions - from Korea to Ukraine, Yemen, South Sudan and Venezuela - and augurs that migrants and the "discarded" be welcomed, like unborn children and the elderly and respect for freedom of religion and opinion, the right to work.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®