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Pak’s key Muslim Christian leadership demand swift investigation into Jaranwala incident

Lahore, AUG 19 /DNA/ – A delegation of 50 senior members of Pakistan’s key Muslim Christian leadership, has demanded an impartial and swift investigation into the Jaranwala incident so that the criminals are punished without wasting time. The visit of Chief Justice nominee Justice Faiz Isa to Jaranwala and the statement of the Pakistan Army Chief General Asim Munir were highly appreciated and considered timely interventions to send a message to the miscreant that their evil designs would not be tolerated and that they would never succeed in spreading their hate narrative in Pakistan.

The delegation visited the affected areas, met with the people seeking refuge in camps, and took stock of the burned and ransacked churches. They especially met with the affected women and covered their heads with shawls–in a gesture of hope and solidarity.

The delegation comprised the president of the International Interfaith Harmony Council; the Chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council, Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi; the Church of Pakistan’s President, Bishop Azad Marshal; Roman Catholic Archbishop of Karachi, Sebastian Francis Shaw.

In the follow-up press conference, Chairman PUC Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi announced the formation of a 20-member committee of scholars, lawyers, and journalists to investigate the reason behind this ghastly act of violence. It would recommend measures to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. He further stated that had the culprit of the Joseph colony and Gojra incidents been punished for their offenses, we might have saved Jaranwala from burning in the name of an attack on minorities. He reiterated the importance of improving law and order and reforming the country’s criminal justice system.

He emphasized that instead of becoming emotional, we should learn to handle incidents of blasphemy sensibly, and if anyone defiles Quran, the matter should be reported to the police and concerned authorities. He reiterated that taking the law into one’s hands in the name of religion should not be tolerated anymore.

He asserted that Islam is a religion of peace and safety, and according to Sharia, it is the responsibility of the Muslim majority to protect the minorities. Similarly, it is also the responsibility of the state to safeguard the minorities.

He thanked Prime Minister Anwar Haq Kakar, Chief Minister of Punjab Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi, and Chief Justice nominee Justice Faiz Isa for issuing immediate instructions for restoring the demolished churches and homes of the Christian community.

He voiced hope that the criminals would receive swift punishment and justice would be served.

Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church of Pakistan, Sebastian Francis Shaw, stated that they have come to Jaranwala with a message of unity and love, and in this time of grief, the entire nation stands with the affected people of Jaranwala.

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