Khan Pur is a small town within the city of Khanewal containing about two thousand houses (about 5 hours west of Lahore). About half of the population is Christian.
Pastor Mukhtar, aged 50 years, has been serving the Christian community in Khan Pur for about 14 years as a pastor for the Church of God. He was a father of six daughters and one son. He was the sole supporter of 5 of his 7 children, and his wife.
His oldest daughter Aster has been married to a pastor in Lahore. Aster is working as a supervisor in the Adult Education School. Ruth has been married to a school teacher in the same city, but they are living with Pastor Mukhtar. Ruth is working as a school teacher in a primary school of the area. Nomi is getting training of nursing in Baqai Hospital Karachi. Pastor's son Musa is a student of 9th Grade. His fourth daughter Salomi is a student of midwifery in Baqai Hospital Karachi. Rebecca is a student of 10th Grade and Mary is studying in 6th Grade.
For the last few years some Muslims of the area were trying to forbid him not to use the loudspeaker for prayer and the reading of Bible verses early in the morning (only for about 10 minutes). [Using a loudspeaker in churches is a common practice in the areas containing large population of Christians.]
The Muslims also reported it to the police and the police took the loudspeaker and arrested the pastor twice. He was released both times after spending about 3-4 days in jail each time.
On 5th Jan 2004 Pastor Mukhtar left his house at 3:00 am in the morning and was going to catch a train for Lahore to visit his daughter. On his way some unknown assailants attacked him. This incident was likely not a robbery, as was initially reported because he was found with 3500 rupees on his person, as well as all of his personal belongings. He was shot in the chest (upper left pectoral, with the bullet leaving his body through his back right side). The bullet punctured his heart and right lung. He was likely kneeling or sitting when shot due to the angle of the wound, and the fact that he was a tall man. His family believes and the evidence reveals that he was likely moved from where the actual incident occurred because his suit jacket had dirt and grass stains on it.
Also of note, it takes 30 minutes to reach the train station, and his body had been found, the police notified, and arrived at his home to inform his family by 3:45am (within 45 minutes of him having left his home. Thus, it appears someone knew his schedule and was waiting for him.
Statement of his family members
According to Mst. Parveen widow of Late Pastor Mukhtar, her daughters and relatives, the deceased had a very good reputation in the area. He had good relations with everyone or even with the Muslims.
On the day of occurrence two policemen and a boy namely Iqbal, who lives in the vicinity, came to their house at about 3:45am and informed them that pastor's body was found lying on the road near the train station. The unclear statement police initially was that he was died of heart attack or of brain hemorrhage. But when the family members reached there they found blood on his body and they came to know that he was shot. The body was taken home and subsequently for the autopsy and later on January 6th in the afternoon Pastor's funeral was held at Khanewal city.
After the funeral prayer a procession was held. Many Christians participated and they were holding placards and banners. They also chanted slogans to arrest the killers and to stop terrorism and minorities killings.
Warris Masih (Church Elder)
Warris Masih is serving the Chruch as an Elder, he said that Pastor Mukhtar used to read verses from The Bible daily at about 6 in the morning for about 10 minutes. After this incidence Warris led the Morning Service and read from Psalm 34 on January 7th.
Meeting in the Police Station
CLAAS team then went to the Police Station Kehna, Khanewal. The Vice Constable told that the higher authorities have formed two committees to investigate the Pastor's murder. The Station House Officer, Mukhtar Ahmed and the Investigation Officer, Said Mohammad Khan Sub-Inspector has been attending a meeting at the Superintendent Office regarding Pastor's case.
Meeting with Superintendent of the Police
CLAAS team then visited the Superintendent Office and met Dr. Jameel Ahmed SP (Superintendent of the Police) and Saad Ullah DPO (Divisional Police Officer). The DPO told that they have formed three committees to investigate the murder and to apprehend the perpetrators. The first committee includes Mukhtar Ahmed SHO Kehna Police Station, Raja Mohammad Banaras DSP (Deputy Superintendent of the Police) and Said Ahmed Khan (Sub-Inspector). Members of the second team are Saad Ullah Khan DPO, Ghulam Qadir (Inspector) and Naveed Sarwar (Inspector). The third committee is monitoring both the other committees and the officers would be without official uniform. It included Mohammad Raza (Inspector Security) and his team.
Dr. Jameel Ahmed (SP) said that they have been investigating this case very diligently and they had a meeting with the deceased family a few hours ago. Parveen, the widow of Pastor Mukhtar clued in some facts which he was not ready to disclose.
He said that according to his findings as a police officer and also as a doctor, the possibility was that the incident was likely not a robbery, as was initially reported because he was found with 3500 rupees on his person, as well as all of his personal belongings. He was shot in the chest (upper left pectoral, with the bullet leaving his body through his back right side). The bullet pierced through his heart and the right lung. He was likely kneeling or sitting when shot due to the angle of the wound, the fact that he was a tall man and according to the medical report.
After leaving SP's office the team went to the place of occurrence. There were blood marks on the road which shows that he was likely shot some elsewhere and then dragged the body to the point where it was found.