Den Haag, Netherland: May 5, 2009. (Prevez Iqbal and Watson Gill report for PCP) The Peaceful and silent protest took place on May 4, 2009, at 3.00 PM in front of Pakistani Embassy in Den Haag, Holland.
The Pakistani Christian in Holland were carrying play cards and Banners to protest with slogans of “Stop desecration of Church and killing of Christian in Pakistan” “We condemn injustice with Minorities” “Pakistan government shall protect Christians”
The Pakistani Christians in Netherlands took lead to stage protest while Pakistani Christian Diaspora in UK, USA, Canada and in other countries of EU is planning to launch campaign against attack of Taliban on Churches and killing Christians on April 22, 2009, in Karachi.
The Holland protest was organized under banner of “The Good Shepherd” by community leaders Zafar Maqsood, Anjum Iqbal, Kaleem Saleem, Watson Gill, Gulbaz fazal. Silvestor Bhatti and Micheal William. The demonstration attracted more than 125 people which mark this protest as one of biggest in EU, so far staged by any Muslim or Christian from Pakistani origin on any issue.
The peaceful procession in front of Embassy of Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Holland expressed oneness and collaboration with Pakistani Brothers and Sisters attacked by the Muslim extremists in Taseer Town Karachi Pakistan and attack on Churches in the same location last month. Protest hugely participated by the Pakistani Christians in Holland. For this peaceful demonstration, Law and enforcement agencies in Holland very well cooperated for peaceful, protection and traffic flow in the city.
Before arriving to the Embassy, participants peacefully passed through the main streets of the city carrying banners and play card containing demands for the Protection of Christians and their civil and Religious properties in the Pakistan as well as their right. In start of the Rally special prayer was offered for those who lost their lives in the incident and a minute silence was observed as a respect to the deceased.
Talking to the PCP correspondent, participants of the rally in their individual messages demanded from the Government ok Pakistan, that if they cannot full fill the promise of founder of Pakistan H.E Qaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah which he made to the minorities for their rights and protection, they must remember their own promises which they made during their election campaign. They also demanded that Government of Pakistan not only stop the terrorism and attacks on Christian Minorities and their belongings but also to bring those who are responsible and culprits of the attack to court of law for strict trial and punishment. Government of Pakistan was also asked to provide legal and financial assistance those who lost their love ones, properties and got injured.
In a message to their brothers and sisters in Pakistan, Pakistani Christian’s from Holland asked them to please remain united, calm and peaceful. Associate with Government and Law enforcement agencies to maintain law and order situation in Pakistan and for Pakistan. They are not alone but whole nation even across the seas is with them.
On arrival to the embassy gate of Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Holland, the leaders of the procession tried to submit their petition to the Embassy officials but they were refused to get in the Embassy by saying that no consent or prior permission for taking this petition is agreed by the Embassy. On this situation, participants started to protest against the behavior of the embassy official. Keeping in view the importance and situation, print medial representatives came forward and talked to the leaders of the procession and requested to stay calm and Media Representative will contact Embassy officials to handle the situation because this is a fundamental right of you to hand over your Petition and the Embassy official are to receive this. A delegation of three Print Media Representative contacted the Embassy officials and after an unanimous agreement, the leaders of the procession Micheal William, Watson Gill, Gulbaz Fazal, Sylvester Bhatti, Zafar Maqsood and Kaleem Saleem were allowed to came in the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Holland and they handed over their Petition comprising upon 8 points. Embassy official assured that they will forward their petition to the relevant authorities and will recommend to consider on issues mention in the petition very seriously.
At the ending point of the procession Pakistani Christian in Holland sung Pakistani National Anthem with loud voice in front of the embassy to show their honesty and love toward their country and demolished peacefully. The protest was ended with the prayer of Azim Masih.