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ANS (02/22/06) – A well-known national Pakistani Christian singer, A. Nayyar, was reportedly thrashed, robbed and forced to convert to Islam near the Punjab Chief Minister’s house on Feb 16 at 2 am after he was done with recording of his songs.

According to ANI, Nayyar was on his way to his home in Canal Park on foot when he was intercepted by some six men who hit him and also deprived him of his cash.

Upon recognizing him, the men forced the singer to recite Kalima, the Muslims prayer that declares non-Muslims’ conversion to Islam.

Leaving Nayyar injured the unknown men made off with cash when people came out after hearing shouts.

“We want to report the incident to the police. The attack could be linked to the recent protests against publication of the controversial cartoons of Prophet Mohammed”, ANI quoted Nayyar’s spouse as saying.

The incident has now frightened the members of religious minorities in Pakistan who are now disturbed that the country’s minuscule Christian population may now face more hostility from the people, reports the Daily Times.

They (unidentified men) probably were local criminals because if they had been serious outlaws they would have done much more, said Waseem Muntazir, Nayyars friend.

The singer has sung many national songs besides singing scores of Christian songs. He is evenly popular with Pakistani Christians and Muslims.