Masked gunmen open fire at catholic School injuring three


LAHORE: April 17, 2015. (PCP) Two masked gunmen opened fire on a missionary institution St. Franciscan High School in Behar colony Lahore. One student and two security guards were injured and have now been hospitalized.

Unidentified gunmen began firing and as the guards on duty outside the school intercepted, they were caught in the firing and got injured. The students of the school have been directed to leave the school premises. The investigation is underway to find out the main reason of attack. The Churches and Christian institutions already have warned about security threat from hardliners. Behar Colony is the second largest Christian residential area in Lahore and Lahore is the second largest city of Pakistan. Two days ago Nouman Masih a 14 years old young Christian boy lost the battle of life in Mayo Hospital. He was set on fire by unknown men after enquiring about his Christian faith. On April 1, 2015, brother of human rights defender Mr. Sardar Mushtaq Gill head of LEAD miraculously survived after being attacked and shot by a Muslim man at his lower back .The perpetrators have not yet been arrested and the police refused to give security. Mr. Gill has got life threats due to his legitimate and non-violent human rights work constantly from last a few years and his life is at risk as well as his family's instead of life's threats, he is wholeheartedly determined to stand in the support of victims violence and to raise his voice against the violation of human rights in Pakistan. Christian School of Pakistan has yet again become the target of uncalled for violence after the last month on 24 March, 2015 when two masked motorcyclists opened fire on policemen guarding St. Peter’s Catholic Church and High School in the Girja Chowk area of Township, Lahore in the result of those firing two passersby were injured. These firings incidents come after the two churches were attacked by the suicide bombers in Youhanabad, the largest Christian locality in Pakistan. In the church attacks, a young Akash Bashir who was on duty as a voluntary security guard outside the church had lost his life in attempting to stop the suicide bomber from entering the Church. In that attack 21 people lost their lives. After incident of lynching two suspects, Government started crackdown against Christians including activists and arrested a number of Christians from Youhanabad and surrounding areas. The Christian minority, the poverty-stricken community, in Pakistan constantly to be marginalized and victimized of such violence. The extremism is the main reason of violence against religious minorities. It is the need of time to eradicate religious extremism and discrimination from the society for peaceful atmosphere where justice should have to be prevailed and rule of law should be implemented. The religious minorities should be given equal rights and should be treated equally before law. Meanwhile, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association BPCA, Wilson Chowdhry, said: "This latest attack highlights the impossible situation for Christians living in Lahore. They are being targeted and threatened daily and the government of Pakistan seems unable to help or insouciant to their concerns. Unless a more vigorous approach using more hard-line tactics such as martial law and deployment of troops to restore peace in the area is enacted, more innocent people will be killed or seriously injured. Pakistan's government need to take more seriously it's responsibility to protect it's people." He added: "My wife's family live minutes away from this school and she is extremely frightened for them. She is contending in prayer every day and it is creating huge depression within our family. We call on Christians across the globe to pray for the suffering church of Lahore. Please contact your local MPs within your respective governments and call for them to demand change in Pakistan or to renegotiate relationships with Pakistan until better human rights conditions are seen within the country." Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC has strongly condemned attack on missionary school in Lahore and demanded fool proof security of Churches and Schools of Christians in Punjab province of Pakistan where violence is rising against Christians. According to CLAAS, a leading NGO in Lahore reached on site of incident and expressed grave concern on attack on school; CLAAS Chief Joseph Francis told PCP that Saint Francis Boys High School is a Catholic School and was running since 1947. Mr. Karamat Masih is principle of the school and 30 teachers are working there. Total 800 boys enrolled in this school

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