Basharat Khokhar under life threats on officially escorting blasphemy accused Rimsha Masih
Photos taken of a Christian policeman who escorted Rimsha Masih to a helicopter after the 14-year-old girl’s release from prison following blasphemy charges has made him a target of extremists. Basharat Khokhar, 37-years-old, has received numerous death threats in recent weeks for helping the young girl, the Pakistan Christian Post reports. Whether or not a person is accused of blasphemy, they still may be targeted by extremists for merely helping a blasphemy victim. According to recent reports, more than 50 accused blasphemers and those connected to their cases have been murdered by vigilantes on the streets of Pakistan in the past 25 years.
11/15/2012 Pakistan (Pakistan Christian Post)- Basharat Khokhar, a 37 years old Pakistani Christian who is employed in police department, came in limelight of national and international media on September 9, 2012, when he was captured in images of escorting blasphemy accused down syndrome minor girl Rimsha Masih from armed jail vehicle to Army helicopter in vicinity of Adiala Jail Rawalpindi.
Mr. Basharat Khokhar was also seen during proceedings of case of Rimsha Masih in local courts of Islamabad like hundreds of other Christians who witnessed court hearings as gesture of sympathy with minor Christian girls in case she was feared death sentence.
In a tight security in Adiala jail and its neighborhood in Rawalpindi, where Rimsha Masih was waiting for her bail, on September 9, 2012. Mr. Basharat Khokhar as employee of police and being a Christian was deployed to provide adequate security to accused Christian girl to escort her to helicopter from armed vehicle in jail compound.
The national and international media broadcasted live images of Basharat Khokhar covering Rimsha Masih and escorting her to helicopter which brought him in limelight around globe but created different security issues for him and his family.
Mr. Basharat Khokhar started receiving life threats from unknown people in month of October 2012, on his cell phone, which he brought immediately in notice of his high officials who transferred him to a police station in suburbs of Islamabad to ensure his safety.
The threats of killing Mr. Basharat Khokhar not stopped on which he and his family are living in fear and not moving outside home for minor shopping of daily grocery and sending their children to school.
Talking to Pakistan Christian Post, Mr. Basharat Khokar said that he and his family are not feeling safe in Pakistan because Islamists believe that he knows where Rimsha Masih is hiding who is liable to kill of defiling pages of Holy Quran.
Basharat Khokhar told PCP “Islamists threat that I am also liable to be killed on hiding Rimsha Masih, a blasphemer, while he is not aware of hiding place of her nor he is in any contact with her or her family”