HRFP Reports has revealed facts on Sargodha and recent incidents against Christians


Faisalabad: Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) Fact Findings reports has revealed on the Sargodha blasphemy issue; the reasons behind, happening on May 25th, who did, their motives behind it and the resembling between Sargodha, Jaranwala , Sialkot’s two brothers Nadeem & Azam accusations and other blasphemy cases against Christians.

HRFP is highly concerned about the quick post arrest bails of above 52 Sargodha mob attackers on Nazir Masih family, is a question mark if this is something to encourage for more such violations? HRFP reports said, on same day the state registered First Information Report (FIR) against 44 identified and 400 unidentified suspects, under Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 and Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), with murder, attempt to murder, obstructing public officials in discharging their duty, assaulting a public official and mischief by fire or explosive material with intent to destroy a house or cause death or hurt, but the police Investigation Reports, government’s stand and court’s proceedings has been discouraging throughout. Still there is no action on many videos by Islamic groups for further threatening and derogatory remarks against Christians after Sargodha incident, HRFP added. 

HRFP Fact Finding team added, that the similar incidents with most of the same proceedings in Sargodha on May 25th, 2024, and Jaranwala incident on August 16th, 2023, had occurred sometimes back. A same format has been seen in practice in both incidents and many other blasphemy cases, from the use of Quranic papers, provoking people, mob attacks, burning homes & properties and after all that the attackers easily gets bail and released within few days. HRFP demands strict actions following intelligence reports that have exposed the same people from same extremist’ groups have accused multiple innocents, HRFP Fact Finding team added further. 

Apart from Sargodha and Jaranwala’s blasphemy cases, a recent HRFP Fact Finding Reports on different cases has brought a lot of reservations and recommendations, that are same, Farooq Masih is another HRFP’s case studies, being assisted as well. Farooq Masih belongs to Jaranwala, his house was burnt on August 16th, 2023, but the attackers were the perpetrators named Muhammad Shehroz, Awais Ali and others who had been threatening him from January 2023. He and his son Ghulam Danih Masih are struggling for protection and justice through the longer court proceedings. On February 10th, 2023 Farooq Masih registered First Information Report (FIR) against perpetrators about physical and sexual harassments. On May 6th, 2024, the same perpetrators attacked Farooq Masih on canal road, Faisalabad. Although Farooq escaped, but next day on May 7th, 2024, police registered a case against Farooq Masih rather than perpetrators, blaming that he is de-tracking the investigations and spreading misinformation. Farooq Masih was sent to jail but got released later. The case is still in court proceedings and the next hearing is on June 26th, 2024. HRFP demands immediate protection of Farooq Masih and family, the perpetrators should be arrested and bring them to justice.

HRFP Fact Findings team came to know the details about Saima Bibi case while visiting on site at remote area of district Faisalabad. Saima Bibi visited HRFP office with her husband Shahzad Masih and father Jamil Masih, stated that on April 12th, 2024, Muhammad Mustafa came to their home, took her forcefully, on resisting he pushed her to fodder cutting machine, she was not died but her scarf and hair were cuts into machine, her left eye, ear and head were wounded also. To see her condition, Muhammad Mustafa ran away, she have been hospitalized in a very critical condition, medical treatment started, her CT scan showed that her skull bone was affected with other issues, as per her medical reports. Muhammad Murtaza and Muhammad Imran are trying to prove that this was an incident.

Rawal Masih of Dasuha, Faisalabad is another Christian victim who was mysteriously burnt in a brickkiln factory where he has been working from sometime. During Fact Findings an eyewitness Suleman alias Tani shared with HRFP team who have stated to police and family also that on April 7th, 2024 Rawal Masih while working on brick kiln to load bricks on Truck, he mysteriously fell down inside the fire, never have been seen before such incident, a witnessed added. The family including his grandfather Mushtaq Masih and Hadayat Masih alleged the Police for making it an incident proving that he slipped into the brick kiln factory’s hottest part and burnt while the facts are different. As Rawal died, his family faced pressure to step back the case, HRFP team stated.

Romeo Masih, his wife Arzoo and Romeo’s father Mushtaq Masih shared with HRFP during visiting HRFP office that they and children faced harassments since April 4th, 2024 when the perpetrators Shahid Ismail and Muhammad Haseeb came, kicked the home’s door, and used abusive language. When Romeo didn’t open the door, the accuser kept hitting the door till it was broken and they entered inside. Furthermore, they started beating Romeo and his wife Arzoo. After listening to the screaming, Romeo’s father Mushtaq Masih also reached there, and helped them to protect. Mushtaq Masih told HRFP that the same perpetrators made another reason of attacking on their family alleging that the children of Romeo family have fought some days before with culprit’s children, and that’s justification of attack they gave to take revenge, HRFP added.

Waqas Masih another victim shared with HRFP team that on March 23rd, 2024 afternoon Muhammad Luqman and Muhammad Imran came at his workplace and shoots without reason. The eyewitnesses Amir Masih and Mariam Bibi shared with HRFP team that the attackers thought that wounded Waqas Masih has died, the brother of Waqas Masih named Akash Masih came and took him to Allied Hospital, Faisalabad. Waqas’s wife Nasreen Bibi shared with HRFP team that, how they have suffered by an incident as Waqas was laborer at farms of Muhammad Luqman and Muhammad Imran, both have been forcing him for some hard things and they subjected him to violence for not fulfilling before also. Nasreen Bibi said further, that it is challenging for Waqas to be bedridden, she added.

Rukhsana Bibi and Asifa Bibi victimized on January 27th, 2024 for sexual and physical violence when both went to the field nearby, the attackers took hold of both to take them, when both resisted, they started hitting, a perpetrator named Abdul Rauf attempts to rape and after seeing them in unconscious condition they escaped. Both have been hospitalized in the Tehsil Head Quarter Hospital (Civil Hospital) Sargodha, police came, asked details but there were no actions. District Police Officer has listened to them but there were no follow-ups. Rukhsana Bibi and her husband Nasir Masih revealed in interview to HRFP while visiting HRFP office, that “Abdul Rauf (perpetrator) and Yasir Gujjar (local authority) behaves like superiors and treating us being Christians like minors, we could not defend ourselves, so religiously persecuting us is not a matter for them, there is not any kind of fear in perpetrators at all and are constantly terrifying us”.

Shazia Zaulfiqar aged 32 a Christian woman faced violence living at Veeram Hithar, district Kasur. In the house located in Hithar Kasur, a Muslims populated area where they have been living from May 2019, on December 3rd, 2023, Ashiq Ali, Bilal Ali, Bagh Ali and Rashid Sardar Dogar entered the house of Zulfiqar, subjected Shazia to violence, tore her clothes taking with them while her husband was not at home. When an old lady, a mother of Zulfiqar named Sharifan Bibi attempted to stop them, they started to beat her as well. Zaulfiqar Masih shared with HRFP Fact Finding team during visiting on site that the perpetrators have been harassing them from last few months, their lives being Christians are getting worse day by day due to discrimination as the perpetrators believe that the non-Muslim are not deserving to live in Pakistan, Zaulfiqar shared further with HRFP team.

Ahsan Masih is another victim of religious persecution when on August 30th, 2023, evening he with Nadeem Masih, Khuram Masih and Zeeshan Masih were cutting the fodder in the fields of Basharat Walah, Faisalabad, Muhammad Aslam, Muhammad Sarwar, Mansab Ali, Mithu came and started violence on Ahsan Masih. On the gun point they abducted Ahsan through a white car and phone called family to fulfil the demands if they want to see alive him. For not fulfilling the demands, on September 1st, 2023, police informed Nadeem Masih, that they have received a dead body and that is kept in the animal area’s of Muhammad Aslam farm house, so they checked and that was the dead body of Ahsan Masih.

Sattar Masih, a Pastor of local Church shared with HRFP staff during visiting HRFP office that from several months they were being threatened. The government’s officers have been threatening to leave the area while the Christian families have been living in area from the last 60 years located in canal colony, Faisalabad. Pastor Sattar added that the Christian families are under threats by the government officers who warned Christians only to vacate homes and Church otherwise they will demolish all as they did some of the houses before. Pastor Sattar Masih added that they are afraid with the new deadline.

Nasreen Bibi, a wife of Qaiser Kaleem visited the HRFP office with son Yarmia Qaiser and shared that while her husband was doing work, his colleague Muhammad Imran borrowed some money from him and as Qaiser demanded to return, Imran refused. When Qaiser pressured him, he religiously pressed him, so they are in hiding now, she added.

Naveed Walter, president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP), said that the recent case studies are the stories of religiously persecuted that are enough to prove that how the minorities are treated worse and what kind of status they have in the country. He urged for the minorities to be owned, to provide protection, so they can live freely, without fear of alleging blasphemy or attacks on justifying any other fabricated reasons, Naveed Walter added further. 


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