Father of slain Christian teenager condemns Burewala Police for intentionally fudging investigation
Lahore: November 3, 2017. (PCP) A report by Burewala Police Constabulary who have been suggesting that the death of Christian boy Sharoon Masih was not a culmination of the bullying he received whilst studying at MC Model Boys Government School Burewala in Punjab, but a personal conflict with one boy, has hurt members of the former student's family.
The grieving father of Sharoon Masih has asked BPCA to set the record straight after several publications seem to have joined forces with Muslim detractors in attempting to thwart justice for Sharoon who was only 17 when he was killed.
Mr Masih, spoke with the BPCA, he said: "We are extremely fearful of the threat to the lives of our Children in the same manner as many other Christian families. However most of them refuse to speak out not because they do not understand the problem but because they fear for their own families and children that go to that school.
"Speaking up about bullying and harassment in the schools in Pakistan brings about absolutely no change. Our Government provides no help and hinders it in fact by creating teaching material that target minorities.
"My younger children are frightened and are bullied in their schools, since their brother died they have all expressed that they do not want to go to school and I have moved all of those attending MC Model Boys School to an alternative school.
"There were never many Christian students at MC Model Boys School so few that in Sharoon's classrom he was the only Christian.
"All the Christian students in the school are bullied if any spoke to any media and said they are not being bullied it will be because of the fear they are under."
Punjab authorities have done little to resolve the situation; Jawaid Tahir Majeed, the equivalent of the police commissioner in the region in which the teenager died, claimed police have interviewed 34 other Christian boys from the school and none have complained of discrimination. (Gospel Herald)
Mr Masih, tried to put us in touch with the four families he knew had Christian children at the school. However, all the families respectfully told Mr Masih that they did not want to get involved in the story due to a fear of reprisals.
Adamant that he wanted the truth to come our Mr Masih took us to meet a local Christian Councillor who represents Pakistan Muslim League - N for the local district of Burewala. Cllr Pervaiz Masih, has been very outspoken about the bullying that goes on within Pakistani schools within in Burewala and tells us that local headteachers are also very aware of the problem. He has also been helping the family of Sharoon Masih to get justice and was very willing to work with us in ensuring the truth would come out. So much so, that he allowed us to film a short interview:
Clr Pervaiz, said: "It is totally true that the other Christian children have suffered discrimination, as a local Councillor I recently resolved a similar issue when a Christian boy in BTM school in Burewala was beaten because he refused to convert to Islam. The boys who attacked the Christian boy were suspended for a few days but then resumed their attacks as soon as they returned to school."
"I suffered the same when I was at school, nothing changes despite the efforts of Christian leaders who often highlight these concerns. This is one of the many reasons Christians fail to excel in education."
"Sharoon Masih was envied by Muslim students, he was by far a better student then his peers and had a glorious future before him. He wanted to be a solicitor and I was helping his family connect with a company where he would have been apprenticed. He never got his chance to complete the apprenticeship and become a solicitor - a role he would have used to serve his community well."
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said: "I cannot express the chagrin the I feel when I hear how Burewala police force have tried to deny the existence of bullying of Christians in any school. Police officers are either naive or intentionally fudging the investigation.
"When initial reports came out local witnesses all confirmed that the attack was undertaken by all the classroom yet only one boy - the instigator - is being prosecuted. Despite Pakistan having adequate laws to punish the group of boys as a collective. The intent is to scapegoat one boy to save all the other perpetrators which provides a very shallow justice.
"Worse still no teaching staff are being prosecuted or disciplined despite culpability in the death of Sharoon Masih.
"I hope the evidence of the local councillor will cause Burewala Council to review bulying in schools within their district that some good might come of this unecessary and depraved murder."