Liberal Forum Pakistan, Islamabad/Rawalpindi Chapter

The LFP Islamabad/Rawalpindi chapter strongly condemns the brutal and shameful act of violence targeting the Christian community in Gojra. We also condemn the local administration’s delayed action that resulted in loss of innocent lives and severe damage to properties.

According to the fact finding missions, it was not a spontaneous reaction to allegations but was a planned action. Announcements made from mosques in Gojra on July 31 urged the Muslims to gather and “make mincemeat of the Christians” (HRCP). On August 1, hundreds of people gathered in the town and marched towards Christian Colony. A police contingent though present in the neighbourhood did not try to stop the mob, which included a number of masked men.

Witnesses said the attackers went about destroying Christians’ houses in a very professional manner, and seemed to be trained for carrying out such activities. They had brought along petrol and other inflammable substances and torched over 40 houses of Christian families in less than half an hour. Many of these houses were looted before being torched.

Amid the brutal killings and destruction in Gojra, a number of Christian women fleeing the violence were given shelter and protection by some Muslims in the neighbourhood.

Such barbaric attacks are a serious violation of the rights of minorities and the Government’s failure to protect the minorities either through administrative measures or legislative ones. The pepetrators must be brought to justice in an expeditious and transparent manner.

The LFP, Islamabad/Rawalpindi expresses its solidarity with the Christian community and demands repeal of Blasphemy Law. The law is not only targeting the non-muslims in Pakistan but is also used against muslims for victimization.

LFP Islamabad/Rawalpindi