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Different faiths distributed Red Roses and Christmas Cards at the Churches of Rawalpindi and Islamabad city
Keeping in view the importance of Religious tolerance and interfaith harmony volunteers belonging to different faiths in Pakistan distributed red roses and Christmas cards at the Kahtoon-e-Fatima Church Islamabad and Philadelphia Pentecostal Church Rawalpindi.
The volunteers were the students from different universities of Pakistan. In the Early morning the volunteers reached at the Churches and at the end of Christmas services, they greeted the Christians Nationals of Pakistan on this very special day and presented red roses to them.
The volunteers said that the people belonging to different faiths and sects are integral part of the society where we are living today. The constitution of Pakistan protects freedom of all faiths existing in the country. We cannot make our society peaceful until we will not accept the differences among us and tolerate each other’s opinion.
The students were wearing T-Shirts with “I respect all the religions”. When the whole country is facing the wave of religious intolerance and extremism, Church administration and fellow Christians appreciated this gesture of love from these young students and served Christmas Cakes to them.
The volunteers also distributed flowers and cards at Nawaz-Shareef Park in Rawalpindi where Christian families were enjoying their day. On the question of media reporter from a private TV channel the volunteers said that we want to distribute the message of peace and diversity among the different segments of our society.
By arranging such events at public places we can create awareness in the public that together we are strong and diversity is the actual beauty of our society.
by Syed Haider Abbas for Christians in Pakistan
(BBC) Pakistan’s elections are being called the bloodiest ever. But that’s not the only reason why they stand apart.
There’s another message on the back of black T-shirted elite anti-terrorism police – NO FEAR, in bold white capital letters.
And it’s not just well-trained muscled gunmen at campaign rallies who want to say they’re not afraid.
Leaders of three political parties, publicly threatened by Pakistani Taliban, or TTP, stood shoulder-to-shoulder and announced this week they would not be cowed by their threats of violence.
Not a day goes by without election attacks and deaths on the front pages of Pakistani newspapers.
Despite that, opinion polls are indicating there could be a record turnout, higher than the 44% in the last elections in 2008.
That’s partly because of a surge in young voters. An estimated 31% of the electorate is between the ages of 18 and 29.
“You could say these are the first youth elections,” writer and former Pakistani Ambassador Maleeha Lohdi told the BBC. “There’s also a new enthusiasm among all voters which is good news for Pakistan.”
As we start our Pakistan election coverage, we’ve attended election meetings and rallies in the capital Islamabad and in the most populous and relatively peaceful Punjab province.
Party leaders like Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan make a point of removing bullet-proof glass shields from their speaker podiums to address large crowds now being held back at a safer distance.
“It’s better to have eye-to-eye contact,” PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif told me before one rally this week in Sarghoda in Punjab.
“We’re still going door to door, shop to shop, where we can,” said Shafqat Mahmood, a candidate for Imran Khan’s PTI party in the city of Lahore.
Campaign organizers admit they’ve had to cancel rallies planned for volatile cities like Karachi in the south, or in the northwest close to the tribal areas, for security reasons.
Some parties, including the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), are being accused of using the threat of violence as an excuse for lacklustre campaigns and what’s expected to be their dismal performance in some areas on polling day – the more usual danger in democracy.
But the danger of violence is all too real. In sensitive areas like Balochistan province, there are reports some election workers don’t want to man polling stations because they fear for their lives.
The Pakistan army has announced 70,000 troops will be deployed in four provinces on election day, along with thousands of police and other security forces.
The 11 May election will be not just one of Pakistan’s most important elections. It will also mark another decisive showdown between forces determined to shape this country through violence, and those who still believe the ballot box matters in trying to resolve Pakistan’s growing crises.
Lyse Doucet’s reports from Pakistan will feature on BBC World News and Newsnight next week.
Pakistan Christian Congress concerned
LARKANA: Dr. Nazir S Bhatti has said that the Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) is a true voice of over 2 million Pakistani Christians and they are not a raw material for Muslim political parties, nor an agent of establishment of Christian groups in Pakistan that bargain on principal for vested interests.
The President of PCC after the meetings with the EU Election Observer Team, he met with officers of the Pakistan Christian Congress in Pakistan. The EU Team contacted the PCC Secretariat for such meetings after PCC’s boycott of Elections 2013 and heard their genuine issues on the occasion.
The PCC vows to support every force which wants Pakistan to be Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam, stated the Central Executive Council of Pakistan Christian Congress. (Quaid-e-Azam – meaning great leadership)
The PCC discussed the situation of rising terrorist activities during the elections in Sindh, KPK and Baluchistan provinces of Pakistan. It is an alarming situation.
The leaders of the PCC passed a resolution condemning bomb blasts, killing of political activists, attacks on different candidates among Independent Candidates, MQM, ANP and the PPP in three provinces and to destroy election offices of particular political groups.
PCC in a meeting, after their decision to boycott election 2013, was termed as in national interests and for the safe Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam which is under threat by extremists.
PCC President Dr. Nazir S Bhatti said that PCC had expressed grave concern on the visit of Egyptian President Morsi who leads Muslim brotherhood in Egypt, to Pakistan before the elections. He feared that his visit is part of a conspiracy to impose Salafist Islam in Pakistan.
Mr. Bhatti clarified that Christians have the winning vote bank in 69 seats of the National Assembly of Pakistan and their boycott of the elections will block way of PML (N) and PTI to come in power and conspire to impose Salafist Islam in Pakistan.
The Pakistan Christian Congress- PCC chief assured that religious minorities can play a positive role to block conspiracies.
By Dan Wooding Founder of ASSIST Ministries ISLAMABAD PAKISTAN (ANS) reports: Following the recent savage violence against Christians in a poverty-stricken Lahore ghetto on Saturday, March 9, 2013, during which a frenzied Muslim mob of about 3,000 people burned down about 200 homes and two churches, comes more shocking news.
It is that we learned that the blasphemy case against Rimsha Masih, an illiterate 14-year-old Christian girl from a suburb of Islamabad, who was arrested on August 16, 2012 (and later acquitted earlier this year) is to be reopened.
A neighbor had accused Rimsha of burning papers containing verses from the Quran, in breach of Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws, but on September 22, 2012, police investigating the case declared prayer leader Khalid Jadoon Chishti guilty, adding that there was no evidence against Rimsha and that he had framed her.
Then on January 16, 2013, Pakistan’s Supreme Court (SC) dismissed a so-called final appeal against Rimsha in her blasphemy case, which was supposed to have effectively ended all legal proceedings on the issue.
But now, her counsel Abdul Hameed Rana has told The Lahore Times that Rimsha’s complaintant has filed an application in the apex court to review the decision of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
“According to the sources, Malik Ummad, Rimsha’s accuser, sought to re-open Rimsha’s case through his lawyer who filed an appeal against the lower court’s acquittal,” said a story in The Lahore Times.
Prosecutors were trying to reopen the case to get the Christian girl convicted.
The bench that made the “final decision”, included the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhtar Muhammad Chaudhary, Justices Sh. Azmat Saeed and Justice Gulzar Ahmad and sources say that they are beginning to hear the case again today (Friday, March 22, 2013).
At the time of writing, it was not decided yet who will represent Rimsha in the apex court.
ANS Pakistan correspondent, Shamim Masih, who has been following the case now for us, said,
“It is worrisome that if this case is not handled properly, it may open new chapter in the history of blasphemy cases in Pakistan.”
With the recent mob attack against an entire Christian community and now this latest news of the possible retrial of Rimsha Masih, it leaves the world wondering when these constant attacks on Pakistan’s beleaguered Christians will end. Surely, they are saying, it is now time for the government of Pakistan to step in and ensure that these travesties of justice are halted, and thus restore the reputation of their country. For now we will have to wait and see. Source
PAKISTANI CHRISTIANS NEED YOUR PRAYERS! And pressure must be put on Pakistan to protect all of it’s citizens, regardless of stature, ethnicity, or religion.