ASIA/PAKISTAN-A Protestant Pastor gunned down in Karachi

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - The Protestant Pastor Jameel Sawan was killed yesterday with three gunshot in Karachi: this is what Paul Bhatti confirms to Fides, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister for religious Minoritt Affairs and Chairman of the APMA (" All Pakistan Minorites Alliance "), the largest organization of religious minorities in Pakistan.
On 16 November, the Pastor was returning home from a communal liturgy, when he was stopped by three Muslim men who, after an argument, was killed with three shots. Police in Karachi have opened a file on the crime (First Information Report) and arrested the alleged perpetrators. The Pastor was a member of the APMA and worked closely with Saleem Khokhar, a member of the provincial assembly and Chairman of the APMA in Sindh.
According to what Bhatti refers to Fides, "the murder may be motivated by religious hatred, but there is also the track of a personal vendetta, due to private matters. In any case it is an appalling and brutal murder. The government and the police have taken appropriate action. We appeal to everyone to keep calm and not to fuel hatred and intolerance".
According to sources of the APMA, Khokhar and the Pastor had previously received threats on behalf of radical Islamic groups, and had also alerted the police. The APMA in Sindh has reported the case to the political authorities and wrote a letter to the governor, asking for the protection for religious minorities.
"Sindh is a province where such cases are sporadic and there is less pressure on minorities, compared to Punjab," underlines Bhatti to Fides. "But after the recent killing of four Hindus doctors and the latter tragic case, attention must be strengthened, because these episodes intend to create a rift between the religious communities, we instead want them to come closer in order to create harmony in society". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 17/11/2011)