07/20/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – On June 28, Aslam Masih, a Christian sanitation worker in Lahore, was beaten and abused by Ramzan Bhatti and a group of other Muslims while cleaning the streets of the Punjab Cooperative Housing Society, a well-developed residential neighborhood in Lahore. The attack reportedly took place after Masih refused to collect garbage from Bhatti’s private house.
According to details on social media, Bhatti does not have a good reputation in the neighborhood and previously received a warning from the society’s administration. However, he continued to ignore these instructions.
During the attack on Masih, Bhatti repeatedly called him a “Choora” (a derogatory term used to denote Pakistani Christians as untouchable) and reportedly said, “How dare you refuse to collect garbage from my house!”
Following the attack, Bhatti and the others also stole Masih’s motorbike, phone, cash, and garbage trolley.
Later, Masih claimed that when he reported the attack to the local police, he was threatened rather than assisted. “Police warned me of dire consequences if I register a case against Bhatti,” Masih claimed.
Christians in Pakistan face widespread discrimination. According to reports, Christians, who make up only 2% of Pakistan’s total population, represent 80% to 90% of the sanitation workforce. This extreme over representation is due to a view widely held in Pakistan that the dirtiest and lowest jobs must be reserved for Christians.
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