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» 02/26/2013
PAKISTAN
Punjab: Muslim attacks disabled Christian for money, police deny any investigation
by Shafique Khokhar
The 35 year-old Khalid Masih had agreed to witness to a trade – for free- at first welcomed by both parties. The next day the Muslim Irshad Gujjar demanded more money. On refusal, he avenged himself by ambushing Christian intermediary. The police refused his complaint and the criminals go unpunished.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - "I want justice, but no one supports me to open an investigation or initiate investigations against my assailants." This is the cry of pain, dramatic and hopeless, of 35 year-old Christian Khalid Masih, a native of the district of Faisalabad, Punjab, victim of brutal violence, triggered by trivial economic issues. The police however are refusing to take the victim's statement, and three weeks on from the incident the criminals still go unpunished. As too often happens in Pakistan, when the victim is a Christian and his executioners belong to the Muslim majority and the violation of laws and rights takes place in complete indifference.

The case dates back to February 2, when the man, who is disabled and walks with the aid of crutches, was asked to act as a mediator - free of charge - in a trade that involved two people: the Christian Babar Masih, a cousin of Khalid, and the Muslim Irshad Gujjar. The first gave the second his mope head, in exchange for a horse. The next day Irshad wanted additional money, because his animal "is worth a lot more."

Khalid Masih (pictured) replied that was impossible to change the terms, because his cousin had left the village immediately after the deal. On February 6, Irshad Gujjar, with his cousin Aslam, went to Khalid's house and asked him to follow them, to go and pray at the bedside of their grandson who was very sick. The 35 year-old Christian usually earned small amounts of money praying for the poor and sick, so he did not suspect the trap.

They lead him to a distant field five kilometres from the village, dragged him from the car and stabbed him several times with a knife - injuring his hands and lips - then they shot his knee caps twice. Some farmers in the vicinity, including a Christian, heard the shots and called for help. The doctors of the Civil Hospital in Faisalabad stabilized Khalid's condition and after a few days, he recovered.

However, despite repeated appeals for justice, his assailants are at large and unpunished. "I am a poor Christian and pray for others - he tells AsiaNews - and all I am asking for is justice." The bitter comment of Fr. Aftab James Paul, director of the Diocesan Commission for Interreligious Dialogue, is that "the criminals wanted to make money illegally" from a poor man, who "deserves justice and should be assisted in all situations, including legal."

 


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See also
07/20/2010 PAKISTAN
Faisalabad, murdered brothers buried. Justice and Peace: abolish the blasphemy law now
by Fareed Khan
07/18/2013 PAKISTAN
Pakistani Christian violently attacked for protecting his daughters
by Shafique Khokhar
03/24/2011 PAKISTAN
Pakistani activists warn of cover up in Bhatti murder inquiry
by Jibran Khan
02/06/2010 PAKISTAN
Lahore, Muslim lawyers will "burn alive" anyone who defends murdered 12 year old Christian
by Fareed Khan
02/11/2011 PAKISTAN
Pakistani Priest warns Christians are at risk. A young man tortured and killed
by Jibran Khan

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
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pp. 176
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