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  • » 04/28/2011, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    Anti-Christian violence in Punjab, young woman raped, Protestant pastor attacked



    Two members of an extremist group open fire at the car of Rev Ashraf Paul in Lahore. His 24-year-old son is critically wounded but is now out of danger. In Faisalabad, a police officer rapes a 24-year-old woman over four days.
    Lahore (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Anti-Christian violence continues in Pakistan, after Easter was celebrated in memory of Shahbaz Bhatti, the country’s Minority Affairs minister assassinated in March. Yesterday, an extremist group ambushed a Protestant clergyman travelling with his family, seriously wounding his 24-year-old son. A few days ago, a young Christian woman was abducted and raped over several days by a man claiming to be a police officer. After she was let go, he fled without leaving a trace.

    Two members of Tehreek-e-Ghazi Bin Shaheed (TGBS), an extremist Muslim group, attacked a Protestant clergyman and his family. The incident occurred near the town of Hamza, near Lahore (Punjab). The pastor’s 24-year-old son sustained serious injuries. The clergyman himself had received threats and demands for money a few weeks earlier.

    Rev Ashraf Paul, 55, and his family were driving down Ferozepur Road. At one point, two men on motorbikes intercepted the vehicle, firing at the clergyman’s car, which was hit at least five times. His 24-year-old son, Sarfaz, was critically wounded.

    The two suspects, aged 19 to 21, fled the scene right after the attack. Their identity is unknown, but in addition to police, activists from the Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) are on the case.

    Sarfaz Paul was rushed to the Mayo Hospital, in central Lahore, where he underwent emergency surgery. Doctors removed three bullets, from the young man’s jaw, waist and public area. The latest medical bulletin said that he was “out of danger” but still under close observation.

    In Faisalabad, 24-year-old Sehar Naz, was abducted and repeatedly rape by a man claiming to be a police officer.

    After sexually assaulting her several times, in Lahore and Faisalabad, the man, who claimed to be a Major Rana Atif, left the woman at the Faisalabad Railway Station.

    The sexual assault, which occurred in mid-April, was confirmed by doctors at Faisalabad’s Civil Hospital.

    Police opened a file against the accused rapist, who has since disappeared without leaving a trace.

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    See also

    09/04/2005 PAKISTAN
    Alleged Easter attackers arrested in Lahore


    10/12/2004 PAKISTAN – HUMAN RIGHTS
    Religious minorities, persecuted and marginalised

    Non-Muslims are marginalised from the country's political and social life despite guarantees for equal rights and obligations under the 1947 constitution.



    21/11/2011 PAKISTAN
    Faisalabad: accused of blasphemy, woman freed thanks to help from Christians and Muslims
    Catholic priest expresses gratitude to Muslim community for conducting “an in-depth investigation” before condemning the Christian woman. He hopes that “a culture of peace and religious harmony” will always prevail. The accused in the case after was charged under the black law over a legal dispute.

    11/04/2005 PAKISTAN
    Protestant clergyman and driver killed, bodies mutilated


    05/05/2011 PAKISTAN
    Long-term “surgical intervention” needed in Pakistan, Paul Bhatti says
    Special advisor talks to AsiaNews about his first weeks working with the ministry of his slain brother. Interfaith meetings and education to promote confessional coexistence are his goals. As Minority Affairs minister, the government appoints a Muslim who says, he has “strong ties” with minorities, and pledges to work for everyone’s security.



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