Today the Pakistani Nation is celebrating Ã¢â‚¬Å“Pakistan DayÃ¢â‚¬Â, the day when the historic Ã¢â‚¬Å“Resolution of PakistanÃ¢â‚¬Â was adopted by the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Muslim LeagueÃ¢â‚¬Â Sixty Six year ago at Manto Park Lahore now Ã¢â‚¬Å“Iqbal ParkÃ¢â‚¬Â. In 1940 Muslim League convention, The Ã¢â‚¬Å“Lahore ResolutionÃ¢â‚¬Â which is called Ã¢â‚¬Å“Resolution of PakistanÃ¢â‚¬Â was adopted, there were few Christian supporters of Pakistan who attended the Muslim League Convention, extended full support of Christians in attaining the goal of an independent State of Pakistan. In June 1947, the Punjab Legislative Assembly was to decide the fate of the Province of Punjab. The Votes for and against the division of Punjab were equal and Ã¢â‚¬ÂTiedÃ¢â‚¬Â. The fact of Punjab was to be decided by Ã¢â‚¬Å“Four Christian VotesÃ¢â‚¬Â. The Father of the Nation Quid E Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah approached the Christian Voters, and three out of four voted went in favor of Pakistan. The Province of Punjab was divided between India and Pakistan. Reportedly, it is said that the Hindu leadership and the British Colonial Rulers offered an Ã¢â‚¬Å“Independent Christian StateÃ¢â‚¬Â to Christian leadership, which they declined, yet the Christian leadership Voted for Pakistan. (One can imagine the Map of Pakistan without West Punjab) Thus the most populous State of Punjab became part of Pakistan. But Alas! Three Christian Votes along with Christian community was forgotten and as the time went by to day after almost 59 years, Christian Minority is totally forgotten by the successors of Quid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Till June 1947, the Christian representation in Punjab alone was Ã¢â‚¬Å“Five PercentÃ¢â‚¬Â. Today it is not even Ã¢â‚¬Å“One PercentÃ¢â‚¬Â. The history books have no Christian name in creation of Pakistan. No one knows the services of Christian political leaders in creation of Pakistan.
Sixty Six years after the adoption of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Pakistan ResolutionÃ¢â‚¬Â, today I am asking myself a question, Ã¢â‚¬Å“where do I stand today in PakistanÃ¢â‚¬Â and I get only one answer, Ã¢â‚¬Å“No WhereÃ¢â‚¬Â. We the Christians living in Pakistan are being subjected to all kinds of discriminations. Religious, Political and Social Discrimination. You name any kind of discrimination, and I tell you we face it here in Pakistan. Our Ã¢â‚¬Å“CeilingÃ¢â‚¬Â in national affairs is limited to the National and Provincial Assemblies. We have no right to think of having a single seat in Senate. We have been robbed off our right to elect our own representatives for National and Provincial Assemblies. Thus we have no representation in government or Parliament duly elected by us. What ever representation we have is imposed upon us by the Muslim Political Parties including the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hard LineÃ¢â‚¬Â Islamic Coalition, the Muthida Majlas-e-Amal Ã¢â‚¬Å“MMAÃ¢â‚¬Â.
I have never written against Pakistan, yet I am sick and tired of our present status in Pakistan. I am sick and tired of Ã¢â‚¬Å“LawsÃ¢â‚¬Â that are made to punish us. I am sick and tired of the insult of our religious belief. I am sick and tired of continuous insult of the Holy Bible. I am sick and tired of continuous burning of churches in Pakistan. I am sick and tired of daily Ã¢â‚¬Å“Television Talk ShowsÃ¢â‚¬Â with willful intent of insulting Christianity. I am sick and tired of Pakistani Print and Electronic Media, the News Papers and Islamic Magazines. I am sick and tired of the anti Christian Journalists and Columnists. I am sick and tired of the Christian Scholars who participate in Ã¢â‚¬Å“Television Talk ShowsÃ¢â‚¬Â and do not dare to defend Christianity. (With Exception of Bishop Malik, who spoke with courage on a recent Talk Show Ã¢â‚¬Å“AlifÃ¢â‚¬Â on Sunday the 5th February 2006, on a private TV Channel the Geo TV). I am sick and tired of the desecration of Holy Bible and Holy Cross. I am sick and tired of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“MullahsÃ¢â‚¬Â hate speeches against Christians. I am sick and tired of the silence of the government of Pakistan on the issue of desecration and insult of Christianity. I am sick and tired of the ignorance and silence of Ã¢â‚¬Å“most prominentÃ¢â‚¬Â church leadership who see these heinous crimes against their faith and they prefer to remain silent. And finally I am sick and tired of the uncertainty that we are facing in Pakistan and the silence of worldwide Christian community. I am sick and tired of their reports of religious discrimination against Christians in Pakistan that reaps no result.
During recent demonstrations against the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Blasphemous CaricaturesÃ¢â‚¬Â, Danish Flag with Ã¢â‚¬Å“CrossÃ¢â‚¬Â imprinted on it with red background were burnt, stamped and painted on road with willful intent of desecration of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Holy CrossÃ¢â‚¬Â, there was complete silence from the government and the Christian leadership. On 24th February 2006, Danish Flag with Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sign of CrossÃ¢â‚¬Â was painted at two places in Gujranwala. When I was informed, I tried to contact the District Police Officer, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Gujranwala Range, the District Coordinating Officer but failed to locate them. I called Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Mr. Muhammad Ijaz Ul Haq, who assured me that they will be removed in next two hours, yet till 6 AM on 25th February 2006 no action was taken by local authorities. I myself had to get those derogatory paintings scratched off the roads. On 4th March 2006, I received a telephone call around 12:15 AM, that Muslims are painting another Ã¢â‚¬Å“CrossÃ¢â‚¬Â. I immediately called the District Coordinating Officer, woke him up asked him to stop painting of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Holy CrossÃ¢â‚¬Â on road with intent of desecration. I made him get up, call the District Police Officer, both went to the spot with Police and stopped the Ã¢â‚¬Å“DesecratorsÃ¢â‚¬Â of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Holy CrossÃ¢â‚¬Â. Only through Pakistan Christian Post I came to know Ã¢â‚¬Å“Cross PaintingÃ¢â‚¬Â in and around the Punjab University Campus and painting of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Holy CrossÃ¢â‚¬Â on main roads of Sialkot through a Television News Channel, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mashraq TVÃ¢â‚¬Â. There are three mainline denomination Ã¢â‚¬Å“BigÃ¢â‚¬Â Bishops in Lahore and a Church of Pakistan Bishop in Sialkot, yet no one took any action to stop the desecration of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Holy CrossÃ¢â‚¬Â. I wrote a letter to the President of Pakistan on this issue on 28th February 2006, I am still waiting for an answer.
In this situation when extreme insult is inflicted on Christianity and the Christian leadership is sleeping, government is ignorant and the hate against Christians living in Pakistan is being spread, do we have a reason to celebrate Ã¢â‚¬Å“Pakistan DayÃ¢â‚¬Â today? I am writing the last letter to the President, the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of Pakistan shortly. If they can redress my grievances, fine! Otherwise I am going to surrender my nationality as a Pakistani citizen. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to remain Ã¢â‚¬Å“False CitizenÃ¢â‚¬Â of a State where my religion is insulted, abused and desecrated in most cruel manner. I would rather accept the status of a Ã¢â‚¬Å“SubjectÃ¢â‚¬Â of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, than to be identified as Ã¢â‚¬Å“CitizenÃ¢â‚¬Â where I have no rights and no voice and no support even from Christian Religious and Political leadership. I have no complaint from common Christians, who have no voice and are forced to live under extreme discriminatory society.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Major (Retired) Timotheus Nasir