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Mushraff to maintain Islamic Laws. Pakistan church leadership welcomed his military coup.

When questioned by general Christians in pakistan on the interviews and statements issued by bishop Azariah, general secretary NCC, bishop Armando Trinidade, President, CBCP and one Cecil Chaudhry, secretary, christian action forum, about their welco
As the poor Christians have observed that in same way the church leadership have welcomed the implementation of Islamic laws on minorities by the military ruler Zia Ul Haq. The statements were under doubts by Christians but they were unable to express their feeling as these churches have media on international levels to cover their views. The said statements are ready reference of our readers and for their record. In other meetings with General Mushraf, the church leadership gave the same imprisioned of amendment in Blasphemy laws because the dozens of Christians have been arrested and trailed under Islamic laws in Pakistan.

Pakistani Christians Welcome Military Coup

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (EP) -- Church leaders recently interviewed by Ecumenical News International (ENI) in Pakistan said they welcomed the Oct. 12 military overthrow of the democratic government. 21-October-1999.

Pakistani Churches Welcome Government's Removal

By Anto Akkara Ecumenical News International

NEW DELHI - Church leaders in Pakistan have welcomed the military overthrow of the country's democratic government Most church leaders in Pakistan, interviewed by ENI by telephone, welcomed the overthrow of the Sharif government, which was deeply unpopular

"This is a requirement of the situation," said Victor Azariahs, general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Pakistan (NCCP), which groups four Protestant churches and 15 church- related organizations. Though the military dismissal of an elected government might be echnically unconstitutional," Azariahs said, there was "nothing wrong"with the army "overthrowing an unpopular government" as long as the people were in favor of the government's removal.

The latest political upheaval has come as "no surprise at all. In fact, we were expecting it for some time," Archbishop Armando Trindade of Lahore, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Pakistan (CBCP) told ENI.

A prominent Christian activist, Cecil Chaudhry, said, "Everybody knew it was coming. We are only happy about it." Chaudhry is a Roman Catholic and the secretary of the National Christian Action Forum, an ecumenical body that is supported by CBCP and NCCP and gives public expression to the concerns of Christians. Elaborating on his "joy" at the overthrow of the Sharif government, Chaudhry said, "People were fed up with the government and that the ordinary people were worst hit." In recent months the country had experienced "total economic collapse," with the closure of businesses, high inflation, price rises by public utilities, and growing corruption and sectarian violence. "People were craving for relief," Chaudhry told ENI. "The army was only fulfilling the aspirations of the people."

But what are the results of those statements now? General Mushraf have abolished the Christian representation in parliament and introduced joint elections system by the amendments in the constitution and refused to make any change in Islamic laws. Benazir Bhutto in this government announced to amend blasphemy laws and all other democratic forces in pakistan were in favor of amendment in such laws but the statements of these religious leaders have created doubts in the minds of democratic forces that Christians of pakistan always favor undemocratic government and do not take part in struggle to restore democracy in Pakistan. It's very clear that democratic government is better than undemocratic governments and fails to survive for long period. Christians are unable to under stand the undemocratic behavior of their church leaders increasing their suffering in the society.