The violent attack on Okara (Punjab) caused by a simple argument. Muslims with guns and hockey sticks have beaten, injured and destroyed entire families. Three days later, despite an official complaint and witnesses, the police have made no arrests.
Okara (AsiaNews) - Hundreds of Muslims attacked a Christian village in Chak n. 5, in Okara (Punjab), after a quarrel between some young Christians who cleaned the entrance to their church and a Muslim gentleman who passed by.
In a few hours the quarrel became a raid, in which Christian men and women were beaten with iron bars, houses invaded, furniture destroyed and property stolen.
According to several witnesses, on May 14, around 5 pm, Asad Imran, Emmanuel and Shahzad Masih were cleaning the area in front of the church gate. Muhammad Khalil, driving his motorcycle through the gate, railed at them because they had soiled his suit with dust and water and threatened them with consequences.
After a few minutes, he arrived with his friends, Muhammad Imran, Muhammad Munir, Khalil, Mujib, Nadeem, Hamza. With firearms and hockey sticks they began to hit Imran, who suffered several injuries to his left hand, a broken finger; Emmanuel received injuries to his right shoulder, knee and back; Shahroz was hit in the head and back.
The incident was witnessed by Muhammad Ashraf (Muslim) and Waseem Masih (Christian), who pleaded with the three to stop their beating.
The next day, a huge crowd arrived on the scene and attacked the home of Mangta Masih and 80 other houses.
Mangta Masih then filed a complaint (First Information Report, FIR) against the perpetrators at the Okara police station.
The parish priest, Fr. Khalid Mukhtar, spread the news on social media, defining the beating against Christian families as a "terrorist attack", in which men and women were savagely beaten. Speaking to AsiaNews, he expresses pain at the fact that after three days no culprit has yet been brought to justice: "While the victims go to a doctor or hospital to receive treatment, the guilty are on the loose".
According to the parish priest, the Christians were attacked by a crowd, “many of them have been recognized… Why don't the police arrest them? We ask that all the guilty be arrested as soon as possible and judged by the law”.
Aslam Pervaiz Sohotra, president of the Masiha Milat Party condemned the attack and expressed sadness that "the police have not yet arrested the perpetrators after so long".
Pervaiz compares the attack on Okara with the incidents in Shanti Nagar, Joseph Colony, Sangla Hill, where Christian villages were attacked and burned. “There are some [some politicians-ed] who say that Christians are protected and safe and that they enjoy equal rights. I ask them: how many guilty have been punished for these incidents? On the contrary, instead of punishing them, these culprits are considered heroes. And this mentality terrifies and hurts minorities in Pakistan. All this brings shame to Pakistan in the international community.”
“We Christians - he added - support Pakistan and make an important contribution to its progress, but we are not treated well. We will never stop raising our voices against the injustices suffered by Christians and other minorities in Pakistan”.