I am compelled to write the following statement after an on-going defamation campaign against me in your net newspaper.
Before going into detail, I confirm with all the authority and responsibility that I, Bishop Salamat Khokhar S/O Sharif Khokhar resident of E - 39 Defence View Karachi, am the legal Founder and Chairman of All Pakistan Council of Churches.
Now, some history and detail regarding this organization…On 17th February. 01 I came to know that the Federal Minister Col. ( R ) S. K. Tressler has given a statement that the Government of Pakistan recognizes only 5 churches in Pakistan and the government of Pakistan shall take necessary action against all other Churches in Pakistan. In this scenario some pastors from different denominations formed a platform - United Churches Action Forum and had few meetings against that statement of the Federal Minister. I had been elected as the General Secretary of this Forum. In the meetings of this forum I asked other pastors to form a committee and meet with the federal minister Col. Tressler to settle this great issue and threat to Evangelistic efforts in Pakistan, which they refused.
Therefore, I personally met Col. Tressler on 12th March, 01 in a hotel at Lahore along with Mr. Nazir Alam from Karachi who is the witness of everything. It must be noted that I met him in my personal position and not as the General Secretary of the United Churches Action Forum and further to this, none of the Pastors or any member of the clergy went to meet him with me.
In that meeting, I said to Col. Tressler, "Minister Sahib, I am just an ordinary pastor and I am not representing any big denomination or group… even then I wants to tell you that since I have heard about your statement against Evangelical Churches in Pakistan.. Therefore, IF YOU ARE AGAINST EVANGELISM, I AM AGAINST YOU as my task is Evangelism."
Our meeting lasted for about more than 100 minutes and then the Federal Minister Col. S. K. Tressler said to me, Pastor Sahib - I know that many pastor are making noise on this issue all over the country but none of them came to me to say anything in this regard, so why don't YOU start a Council of Churches which could be a coordinating body between the churches and the Government?
I came back to Karachi and told other Pastors that I am going to start the All Pakistan Council of Churches and they should join this body. At that time I did not know much of the pastors about their personality and Character. I said to them that although, I am the founder of All Pakistan Council of Churches, still I will present myself in an election for the Chairmanship and if any other pastor may wish to contest for the Chairmanship, I shall have no objection.
Praise God, that an election was held on 29th March, 01 and people elected me unopposed, as the Chairman of All Pakistan Council of Churches.
In the same election, Bishop Sardar Masih of Kashmir Colony, Karachi who had previously worked as the Gatekeeper of the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Karachi was elected as the Sr. Vice Chairman and Brother Daud Sardar of Bethel Church, Karachi was elected as the Chief Advisor to this council. Later, I found out that Brother Daud Sardar has confiscated the Bethel Church property from its founders. Also he is an illiterate person and used to be a Mason. He can not speak even the URDU language properly. The same person has declared himself as Bishop of Bethel Church on 14th August, 02.
I got the approval and moral support of the government as the Federal Minister for Minority Affairs Col. ( R ) S. K. Tressler participated in various events I organized for the promotion of this body.
I spent large sums of money entirely at my own on these events including its day-to-day affairs and none of the office bearers or members of this body ever contributed financially not even a single rupee to the All Pakistan Council of Churches.
While the office bearers of this council started asking me for money for their personal needs and tried to take advantage of me.. Bishop Sardar Masih compelled me to get him a Video Projector and pay his house Telephone Bills. I can give all the evidence in this regard. I helped them a lot, but since I am a clergy man and not a Smuggler - I could not meet their unlimited needs and desires. So they made a plan against me.
I left Pakistan on 27th May, 01 to participate in a Christian conference in USA.. and before leaving the country I authorized Bishop Sardar Masih, in writing, to act as the Acting Chairman in my absence from the country, with the following restrictions that He cannot dissolve this All Pakistan Council of Churches He cannot exchange or replace the office bearers of this Council.
On 20th June 01, I made a phone call to Bishop Sardar Masih from West Virginia, USA and asked about the matters of All Pakistan Council of Churches and he replied to me .. "Chairman Sahib - everything is perfect, nothing wrong with the matters of the Council."
He also asked me to bring him a Study Bible.
But, on 29th June 01, I received an email from him that a meeting of the All Pakistan Council of Churches was held on 11th June, 01 and we have decided to dismiss you from the position of Chairman. So you are not a Chairman of All Pakistan Council of Churches with an immediate effect and the new Chairman of the APCC is Bishop Inayat M. Bhatti.
(Here the difference of the dates must be noted and also should be considered that he has no authority to call any such meeting and also he could not exchange or replace the office bearers)
I wrote them immediately from USA that I do not accept their decision and I am still the Chairman of APCC and that they have no right to dismiss me. I also warned them not to use the name of this organization with themselves, as it will be illegal and non-ethical.
I reported this to the Federal Minister from USA.
On my arrival to Pakistan on 14th July, 01… I met Bishop Sardar Masih on 16th July 01 and asked him why did he do it? He mentioned that Brother Daud Sardar and one of his close friend Pastor Laal Shahab, the Vice Chairman of this council pressurized him to do all this malicious practice against the Chairman.
So, I dismissed all the office bearers and made it known publicly announcing it in the local newspapers in the 3rd week of July 01 and further added in the press release that none, except me, can use the title All Pakistan Council of Churches and the violators shall be dealt with legally.
A few weeks ago, I found out that actually Bishop Sardar Masih wanted them to make him the Chairman of this Council and they wanted him to vote in the favor of one of them. All this mess went on in my absence from Pakistan. So the reader may understand, how good Steward they all are.
In the last whole year, I sent them numerous notices and verbal warnings not to use this title … but I did not do anything against them. However, they refused and this year they made applications to the Police to arrest me and going further to this they printed out posters against me including doing a media war on me. They have sent false allegations on me at the Internet and to international Christian organizations claiming that Bishop Salamat Khokhar is not the Chairman of All Pakistan Council of Churches.
You can judge yourself if they are right?
Now, the actual position is that all the Government authorities, Christian organizations in Pakistan, except this minor group, regard and recognize me, Bishop Salamat Khokhar as the Chairman of All Pakistan Council of Churches. I am always addressed as such in all the official corresondance from the government and Christian orgnizations. I am the busiest person in clergy who is always invited as the Chief Guest at Christian events by various denominations.
As to their allegation, that I have lodged false FIR in Police against a renowned Evangelist Khalid Mansoor Soomro. That is not true.
I had received an email with the threat to Murder me and Rape my wife and my sister on 6th March. That email also contained all sort of obscene language against my family and me. Although, that email seemed to be sent to me from Jesh Mohammad Group but I had every reason to believe that Mr. Khalid Mansoor Soomro sent that email to me. He has a proven record of blackmailing other pastors and being a tout of Islamic Media organizations to curb the Christian activities in Pakistan. I proved the track of that email to him technically in front of the High police officials. Mr. Khalid Mansoor Soomro is absolutely not a Renowned Evangelist and his only ministry is being on the email and Internet, nothing else. He has taken money from hundreds of Christians to send them abroad and none of them ever went out of Pakistan. Through his cheating he has made a lot of money using his position of being a converted man.
I lodged an FIR in police against him, with all the documented evidence and a lawsuit is in process in the court… If that FIR is false … why does not he prove it untrue in the court of law? He should be thankful to me that I did not file an application of contempt of court against him. Instead of this, he is doing a campaign to defame me in all possible manners.
Now, the head of them Bishop Inayat Bhatti tried to send 80 people to USA illegally, who are drugs addicts, drugs sellers and ordinary people. He declared all of them as Pastors and Evangelists and took money from them.
Brother Daud Sardar, who declared himself Bishop on 14th August, 02…… he recommended people to go to USA on a Governmental legal Stamp Paper on 12th August, 02 and signed it as Bishop Daud Sardar. Would you appreciate it?
Here it is noteworthy, that many times I have challenged them verbally and in writing, to prove ANYTHING against me. They never came up with something against me.
I believe that they are just trying to get rid of me as I am against all wrongful practices in the Clergy and I raise voice against them. They are doing all this to take advantage of the goodwill of this reputed organization All Pakistan Council of Churches.
I further add, that whatever I have written here is true to each and every word and I can provide documented evidence and witnesses. Anyone can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
My services to the community and Churches are self-evident in my ministry and can be verified from the Christian Community of Pakistan.
So, now the readers can decide, if I am wrong or right.
Dear Bhatti Sahib , In the light of above-mentioned facts, I request you to publish my statement in your newspaper, so that people should know the truth.
God bless you and your family
Bishop Salamat Khokhar
Founder & Chairman
All Pakistan Council of Churches