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08/19/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – On July 24, Nasir Pervaiz, a Christian auto-rickshaw driver, was beaten and falsely accused of terrorism after he was told he could not pick up passengers at a medical clinic in Phoolnagar, located in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The reason he was not allowed to pick up passengers was because of his religious identity as a Christian.

About a year ago, I bought the auto-rickshaw with savings from my previous job and a loan from relatives,” Pervaiz told International Christian Concern (ICC). “I enjoyed my business and made a good amount of money by picking and dropping passengers from the village to the city.

However, I was often teased, discriminated against, and abused by Muslim drivers at the pickup point in front of a medical clinic on the main road of Phoolagar city,” Pervaiz continued.

I was in a queue with my auto-rickshaw on the incident day, when the owner of the clinic shouted me,” Nasir told ICC. According to Nasir, the owner of the clinic called him a “choora”, a derogatory term used to denote Christians as untouchable, and told him to leave the clinic without a passenger. When Nasir refused to leave, the owner called other Muslims to attack Nasir, saying they needed to “teach a lesson to the choora.

Pervaiz was attacked, beaten, and left with multiple injuries as a result. Pervaiz’s auto-rickshaw was also stolen and is missing since the incident.

Later Pervaiz was falsely accused of terrorism and was arrested by police. However, the judge granted him bail until the next court hearing.

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