Jaranwala incident: Church of Pakistan head reiterates demand for justice
Bishop Azad Marshall says though Christians appreciated the government’s action against the mob leaders, the community believes such incidents will continue to recur until the perpetrators are sternly dealt in accordance with the law.
Jaranwala: The head of the Church of Pakistan, the country’s largest Protestant church, on Friday reiterated the minority community’s demand for justice in Jaranwaa incident.
They said that the government officials responsible for inaction should also be held accountable through a fair and transparent judicial investigation.
Addressing an event at the Salvation Army church in Jaranwala, which was among multiple churches that were ransacked by charged mobs on Aug 16, Church of Pakistan President Bishop Azad Marshall said that though Christians appreciated the government’s action against the mob leaders, the community believed that such incidents would continue to recur until the perpetrators are sternly dealt in accordance with the law and concrete measures are adopted to prevent religiously-motivated violence.
The event was organised by Salvation Army’s Territorial Commander Colonel McDonald Chandi in honour of an official delegation of the British High Commission to Pakistan led by Deputy High Commissioner Andrew Dalgleish.
“The Jaranwala incident marked the eleventh significant episode since 1997 involving the persecution of the Christian community and we want this to be the last such incident. Unfortunately, no action has ever been taken against police and government officials responsible for negligence in any of these incidents,” he said.
Marshall regretted that the Punjab caretaker government had turned down the Christians’ legitimate demand for a judicial investigation into the Jaranwala incident compelling them to move the Lahore High Court.
“My objective of filing the petition for the formation of a judicial commission was to hold a thorough inquiry into the underlying causes of such attacks and holding the police and district officials responsible for inaction accountable. The government has now shown its willingness to review its decision and we hope to hear encouraging news in the next hearing on Dec 21,” he said.
Marshall said that minority communities were equal citizens of Pakistan according to the country’s constitution and they should not be treated as second-class citizens by the government.
He called for the release of the compensation money to all victim families.
Addressing the event, British High Commissioner Andrew Dalgleish said the delegation was visiting Jaranwala to express solidarity with the victims of the Aug 16 violence.
“We are also pleased to see the unity between all denominations of the Christian faith on this issue and assure our support in their pursuit for justice,” he said.
£190 million settlement: NAB moves reference against Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi
The anti-corruption watchdog also names other individuals in the reference include Bushra Bibi's associate Farhat Shahzadi, also known as Farah Gogi, PTI leader Zulfi Bukhari, former accountability official Shahzad Akbar, and Barrister Zia-ul-Mustafa Naseem.
Islamabad: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday moved a reference to an accountability court, implicating former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his spouse Bushra Bibi in a case involving a £190 million settlement.
The anti-corruption watchdog also named other individuals in the reference include Bushra Bibi's associate Farhat Shahzadi, also known as Farah Gogi, PTI leader Zulfi Bukhari, former accountability official Shahzad Akbar, and Barrister Zia-ul-Mustafa Naseem.
The reference marked conclusion of NAB's investigation, leading to the court placing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief on judicial remand in connection to the case.
The probe focused on allegations that Imran Khan, along with his wife and others, gained control of extensive land under the Al Qadir University Trust, resulting in a reported loss of 190 million pounds to the national exchequer.
According to the charges, the former prime minister and the co-accused purportedly utilized Rs50 billion, equivalent to 190 million pounds at the time, transferred by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to the government. The Trust for the Al-Qadir University Project was officially registered by the PTI chief on December 26, 2019.
Pakistan asks Afghanistan to take immediate steps against terrorist entities
Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch voices concerns over the presence of terrorist sanctuaries in Afghanistan.
Islamabad: Pakistan has once again asked Afghan authorities to take immediate and effective steps against terrorist entities operating from their soil.
At her weekly news briefing in Islamabad today, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch voiced concerns over the presence of terrorist sanctuaries in Afghanistan. She said these terrorists continue to attack Pakistan and cause loss of life.
The spokesperson said Pakistan desires to have peaceful and friendly relations with Afghanistan. We have great sympathies with our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan who have suffered a great deal because of difficult humanitarian and security situation. She said Pakistan has advocated internationally that humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan must continue.
Responding to a question, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said Pakistan is strongly committed to protection of workers and projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). She said we will defeat designs of any terrorist entity against CPEC or any other investment project in Pakistan.
Expressing concerns over the situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesperson urged India to repeal its draconian laws and stop using the bogey of terrorism to suppress dissent in the occupied territory.
The spokesperson reiterated Pakistan's call for a durable and sustained ceasefire in Gaza to enable supply of extensive and robust humanitarian assistance, urgently needed medical aid to the injured and shelter to those displaced by the indiscriminate and in-humane bombing by Israeli occupation forces.
She said we are also deeply concerned at the escalating Israeli aggression in the West Bank. She said the international community should take immediate and decisive steps to bring an end to Israeli campaign of terrorism against Palestinians. She said Pakistan supports the call for a comprehensive investigation into attacks against medical facilities, schools, mosques, churches, residential buildings and water facilities and urges full accountability for the war crimes being perpetrated in occupied Palestine.
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