English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Pakistan’s Christians launch protests in Karachi following killing of Pastor William Siraj in Peshawar

Christians feel discriminated in Pakistan (Photo: IANS)

Christian rights organisations held a protest at the Karachi Press Club demanding protection for the lives and properties of religious minorities in Pakistan.

Christians in the country are feeling insecure after gunmen killed Pastor William Siraj and wounded Pastor Patrick Naeem in Peshawar last week.

In another attack, a Hindu trader Sutan Lal Dewan was shot dead by armed men while returning home in Sindh. His relative, Harish Kumar was injured in the shootout.

The chairman of the Muttahida Masihi Council, Noel Ijaz told The Friday Times that the Christian community is increasingly feeling insecure following the violent killing. “We would feel better protected if the police succeed in arresting the attackers and if perpetrators are convicted for their crimes. It is a sad reality that attackers involved in the persecution of minorities usually enjoy impunity,” Ijaz said.

The protesting organisations alleged that the Pakistan government has not been taking action against the perpetrators of attacks on minorities.

In the neighbouring province of Balochistan, fishermen too are on a protest in Pasni town of Gwadar port city. The Baloch fishermen say that their only source of income has dried up because of rampant illegal trawling in the Arabian Sea. Most of the illegal trawlers belong to Chinese commercial companies who have almost emptied the waters of fishes through destructive fishing practices.

Local Baloch leader, Maulana Hidayat Ur Rehman Baloch–the leader of the Gwadar Ko Haq Do movement–(Give Rights to Gwadar) has threatened to intensify the movement if the government does not stop illegal trawlers from operating in Baloch waters. The fishermen also want the Pasni harbour to be opened up to local fisher folk so that they can get back to earning their livelihoods.

The protests by fishermen follow mass demonstrations and sit-ins by local people including women and children in December 2021 who wanted the administration to provide them basic facilities like water and power as well as increased livelihoods.

Despite large-scale infrastructure projects like roads, rail, power stations, ports and industrial areas by China and Pakistan, local communities and minorities feel that they have been deprived of jobs and opportunities from these projects.