ASIA/PAKISTAN - Christian leaders: a Commission of inquiry regarding the massacre in Youhanabad

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - Political and religious leaders are asking the government in Punjab to set up a special Commission of inquiry regarding the massacre in Youhanabad, which deals with both the terrorist attack on March 15, and the two Christian churches (18 dead and 91 wounded), and to identify those responsible for the lynching following the massacre, when a crowd of Christians killed two suspected terrorists.
As Fides learns, a group of Christian leaders remarked the negligence in preventing terrorist violence and riots which followed. Anger and frustration grew because of impunity that exists in a number of cases of violence against Christians, they noted. In recent days, the police arrested more than 150 suspects in the lynching, many of whom "falsely accused".
Christian leaders have criticized the Prime Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for not having visited the Christian families after the attack. In the following days, many Christian residents had fled their homes in Youhanabad for fear of reprisals, instigated by the nearby mosques in revenge for the lynching. "The government should take care of Christians and religious minorities", they said.
"People are gradually returning to Youhanabad", says to Fides Joseph Nadeem, a Christian living in the suburb, head of the "Renaissance Education Foundation", which deals with the education of poor families. "Police are releasing many of those arrested. The situation is now calm. We hope to live a peaceful Easter". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 28/03/2014)