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President orders probe into murder of Christians

ICC Note

We welcome the call by the president of Pakistan to probe into the murder of the Christians. We call upon the government of Pakistan to immediately amend the country’s blasphemy laws that are causing the persecution of Christians in that country. Pakistan must end brutality against Christian and other minorities.

07/21/2010 Pakistan (Dawn.com)-President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday asked the authorities in Punjab to investigate the murder of two Christian brothers in Faisalabad and a controversy over demolition of a historic Hindu temple in Rawalpindi .

At the same time, president’s media adviser and MNA Farahnaz Ispahani submitted an adjournment motion to the National Assembly’s Secretariat seeking a debate “on the subject of rising persecution of minority communities of Pakistan .”

Taking note of media reports about the murder of two brothers outside a court in Faisalabad on Monday, the president called for immediate steps to arrest the culprits.

Mr Zardari condemned the incident and said it had brought a bad name to the country. He said that life of every person was sacred and no-one could be allowed to take law into his own hands. He expressed sympathies with the families of Pastor Rashid Emmanuel and Sajjad Emmanuel and asked the provincial government to pay suitable compensation.

The brothers, accused of having distributed blasphemous material, were gunned down on the premises of a sessions court in Faisalabad on Monday.

The president also took notice of a report about demolition of a temple in Rawalpindi and asked Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti to investigate the matter and report the factual position.

MNA Farahnaz, in her adjournment motion, a copy of which was made available to Dawn, termed the murder of two Christian brothers a “horrific incident” and stated that international polls had shown “a trend of increasing violence and brutality” towards minority communities in Pakistan .

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