Dr. Rashid Gill writes an open letter to Prime Minister of Pakistan.
10 Jun 2007
Mr. Shaukat Aziz,
The Honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan,
Prime Minister house,
Subject: Please don't let our country become a laughing stock!
It is an open secret that at present the government of Pakistan is passing through very crucial and difficult time. The reference submitted by president to Judicial Supreme council in connection with Chief Justice of Supreme court Chaudry Iftikhar has caused unprecedented upheaval and turmoil in general and particularly in lawyers community. The unfortunate events that took place in Karachi on July 12, 2007 are overshadowing the performance of government. It is evident that you and your team are quite busy in calming down public uproar. However, I would like to grab your kind attention to the fact that Christian community living in Charsaddah NWFP is constantly living under a death threat received by fundamentalists and extremists. They have been warned by radical elements to get converted to Islam or else.
The Christian community and Church leaders have contacted police authorities to take action against those issuing these threats to peace loving citizens of Pakistan but it seems that their requests as usual have fallen on deaf ears. No solid or concrete steps have been taken to investigate and arrest the culprits. Helpless Christians have sent their daughters and wives to other cities and towns of the countries in anticipation of attack like 'Shanti Nagar' in Punjab. Police and higher authorities had intelligence reports prior to these barbaric and brutal attack on the lives and properties of Christians but nothing appropriate was done to safeguard the lives and properties of Christians in 'Shanti Nagar'.
Mr. Prime Minister, the Christian community in Pakistan were assured equal rights according to the founder of Pakistan Quadi-e-Azam Mohmmad Ali Jinnah and the Constitution of Pakistan also guarantees the equal rights of minorities living in Pakistan. But sadly the honor and dingily of minorities is not considered equally important and at par with the majority. The lives of 65 families are living under constant death threat in their own country but life of one Chief justice is given so much protection and importance over 65 families that neither provincial nor federal governments has time to pay attention to this brewing tragedy. It is a naked terrorism being staged not only against the writ of government but also against the peace, integrity of our country and teachings of Islam. According to my understanding of Islam, no one can be compelled to embrace another religion including Islam under a death threat. How can you afford to have this kind of terrorism going on in the country against the will of peace loving citizens of Pakistan, Islam, and Constitution of country and Manifesto of Muslim League?
In short, Christian community living abroad especially in Canada and United States of America is genuinely concerned about the safety of their family members living in Charsaddah and other places of the country. I sincerely hope that you would take daring and appropriate steps to ensure the lives and properties of Christians directing police and higher authorities to take unprecedented action against all culprits who are staging all this under the veil of religion. In fact, these elements are neither sincere to the country nor Islam.
Please don't let our country become a Laughing stock in international community as they are watching with interest actions taken by government to uproot terrorism in the name of religion.
Anticipating you my best regards, I remain.
Rev. Dr.Rashid Gill,