Christian killed by a group of Muslims in Lahore
by Shafique Khokhar

Pervez Masih, 25, was attacked after a row in his video game store. The victim’s uncle tried to intervene to save him. For the United Christian Council, “In Pakistan the police are powerless and insecure.”

Lahore (AsiaNews) – A 25-year-old Christian was killed yesterday in Lahore by a group of Muslims. Pervez Masih was attacked over a dispute that broke out in his video game store.

Based on preliminary findings, the night before the attack some young men entered the store. Masih refused to gamble with them and a row followed.

Akhtar Bhatti, Pervez's uncle, told AsiaNews that the next day a group of 150 to 200 Muslims came to the Christian area of ‚Äč‚ÄčLahore, some with guns, and started insulting and beating people, including Pervez.

Despite his uncle's attempts to stop the beating, the attackers dragged Pervez away to torture him with sticks and bricks, threatening that they would not leave him alive.

Eventually one of the Muslims, named Sohni, son of Allah Ditta, hit the young Christian in the head. When the latter fell to the ground everyone fled the scene, firing into the air.

Later, High Court lawyer Javed Sul, who is also president of the Christian Lawyers Association of Pakistan, helped the family file a First Information Report (FIR) at a local police station.

Christians are very concerned about the escalating violence against the members of their community in Pakistan, especially in Punjab.

According to David King, a missionary with the United Christian Council, “Pakistan is currently on the list of countries where the state and the police are helpless and insecure. Lawmakers have failed to control religious extremism.”

For Davis, in light of the mistreatment of Christians, the federal government must set up a special task force and enact legislation to prevent attacks such as the one against Pervez.

Similarly, for Lahore-based human rights activist Waseem Yaqoob, “it is a reality that in society people are killed and justice denied, despite police investigations.”

“It is very important to cure the diseased mentality of this society,” Yaqoob explained. Certain “elements should be arrested immediately and punished.”