Pakistani Christians Observe Black Day: protest were staged in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, Gojra and other towns


Lahore: August 11, 2009. (PCP report) Christians took out protests and hoisted black flags to observe “Black Day”

to demand repeal of blasphemy laws and condemn burring alive Christians in Gora city by Muslim extremists attack. There was not any significant program or gathering on Minority Day announced by government. The 20 million Christians expressed their unity and demanded repeal of blasphemy law, resignation of Shahbaz Bhatt, minister for minorities, and true representation in parliament. The rallies were taken out in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Multan, Gojra, Summandri, Rahim Yar Khan, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad in front of Press Clubs. There were special prayers held in Churches also. In Lahore, SLM, CLAAS, NCP, CNJP and PCC activists gathered at Press Club and marched toward Punjab Assembly, The rally of thousands was addressed by Joseph Francis, Sohail Johnson and other leaders. Islamabad observed ‘Black Day” by holding three rallies separately. The mega rally was led by J Salik, Chief of WMA and former federal minister and Xavier William , Coordinator PCC, who marched to protest in front of Parliament House of Pakistan. The Islamabad police have blocked all roads leading to parliament on which protesters offered prayers on police blockade for martyred in Gojra. Mr. J Salik condemned present representation of Christians in Pakistan and demanded repeal of blasphemy laws. In Karachi, large gathering of Christians at Press Club chanted slogans to repeal blasphemy laws and arrests of killers of Christians in Pakistan. There were news that protestors clashed with police on blocking their way to governor house but news not yet confirmed according to PCP sources. The major protests were organized in Azam Town, Drig Road and Korangi by different groups also. In Gojra, where Muslims militants attacked on August 1, 2009, killing 11 Christians and set on fire 60 homes remained main venue of protest. In presence of heavy contingents of police Christian Human Right Federation organized a rally and demanded arrests of attackers and repeal of blasphemy laws. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC, who called for “Black Day” on July 21, 2009, instead of Minority Day by government, marked Black Day with a Press Conference in National Press Club, Washington DC, on August 10, 2009, and urged US and EU to intervene and press Pakistan to repeal blasphemy laws. He further demanded resignations of Shahbaz Bhatti, Federal Minister for Minorities and Kamran Michael, Punjab government minister on failing to protect minorities. In a statement issued here today, Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, paid homage to 20 million Christians in Pakistan to express their unity to observe Black Day and to reject Minority Day of government. There are protest to observe Black Day today also in Paris, London and Toronto while Pakistani American Christians will launch Black Day protest in front of UNO in New York on August 12, 2009..

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