London: (By Hannah Chowdhry) The father of a Christian man killed by Muslims for defiling the purity of water from a tube well they owned, has now been accused of kidnapping the son of one of the murderers named Haji Muhammad Razaq.
It is believed that the alleged kidnap is an attempt to thwart the current murder proceedings which MR Razaq is currently involved in.
Mr Masih now faces the ignominy of a trial for kidnap which he is completely innocent of, despite absolutely no evidence that he has been involved in a crime.
Saleem Masih was only 22 years old when he was beaten to death Muslim men, offended that a Christian had dared to enter their tube-well and wash himself along with many Muslim men. Read more (here).
Seven men were implicated in the attack Shera Dogar, Ali Shehzad, Iqbal, Jabar, Mushtaq, Altaf and Haji Muhammed. The men spat at, abused and beat Saleem Masih before a crowd of people. They later tied Saleem Masih to the well and beat him with iron rods till he fell unconscious. Realising that Saleem Masih’s life was in the balance the men accused him of stealing potatoes and turmeric and asked his father to collect his body from their land while calling police about the theft.
Initially, police ignored the false allegations of theft and arrested the assailants while also taking Saleem Masih to a local hospital. The next day however Saleem Masih died from his injuries but the men who murdered him were still released on bail the same day. It should be noted that before he died Saleem Masih was able to inform police why and how he was killed during an interview at the hospital.
All the culprits were set free on bail on the day after their arrest and the family of Saleem Masih began to receive severe threats to their lives, if they continued to pursue a murder case.
Worse still two men who were very involved in the murder were not even registered on the original First Information Report (FIR), pencilled by the police. Our advocate had to fight for these men to be added into the trial, after what seemed like an intentional omission by the police in response to a bribe. Read more (here) and (here).
The two additional men were granted bail in June 2021, but were included in trial proceedings. However, in what seems a desperate attempt to prevent justice and delay the court, Mr Razaq has now implicated elderly father Ghafoor Masih under charges of kidnap of his son Muhammad Jabar who is currently missing.
Muhammad Jabar has apparently not been seen since July 2021. Police have been informed that Mr Jabar had gone to visit a woman he was in a relationship with and had not returned home since then. Mr Masih contends that Mr Jabar is involved in serious crimes including the looting of people at gun point and is a known felon. He believes that if Jabar is truly missing the local criminal fraternity will be involved. Mr Masih continues to expound his innocence.
Unfortunately, Mr Razaq has filed an application for kidnap of his son at Illabad Police Station, Kasur. This resulted in a police officer, visiting Ghafoor Masih around 10pm on 10th July 2021 and he was taken to the office of the District Police Officer (DPO), Kasur for questioning.
The next morning, Mr Masih arrived at the office of DPO Kasur along with his brother Waris Masih (50 yrs) and his son Shan Masih (21 yrs). After a whole day of waiting outside the office, they were finally called in to face an interrogation by the DPO. Quite curiously, Mr Razaq was also present and was already in the interrogation room before Mr Masih had arrived. The woman who was in a relationship with Jabar was also there with her parents. During the interrogation, Mr Razaq had deliberately implicated Ghafoor Masih as being the main suspect in the disappearance of his son Jabar.
Ghafoor Masih, described the interrogation, he underwent at the DPO, Kasur:
““I arrived at the office of District Police Officer around 10:00 am.
“My brother, son and I were made to wait till 4pm to be seen.
“I was shocked to find Altaf and Haji Razaq already in the same room, these murderers were getting much better treatment than me.
“I was interrogated by the DPO while these evil murderers stared menacingly and often laughed.
“I denied every allegation, I am too old, too weak and am not brave enough for such a crime.
“I expressed to the DPO that I was being implicated because the two men present and the alleged missing son were summoned to court for the murder of my son.
“The DPO eventually let me go but he ignored everything I said.”
Muhammad Jabar has been continually absent from court hearings since July. His solicitor filed an application in the court to dispense his presence which was granted by the court in September.
Mr Masih has informed us that rumours persist in his local village that Haji Razaq has himself hidden his son to avoid a the murder trial. Of course this cannot be proven but no signs of a kidnap have emerged during police investigations either.
On 15th November 2021 a Chunia Town Court hearing was postponed because Jabar was not able to be present. Judge Farida Ijaz seems to be intentionally delaying the case by allowing very whimsical postponements.
There is an ongoing investigation by police into the disappearance of Jabar and due to no other leads, Mr Masih remains the main suspect and may face a court hearing.
British Asian Christian Association have been assisting the elderly parents of slain Saleem Masih, ever since his death. We simply cannot afford to provide the legal aid and protection to Christians in Pakistan without your help. It is for that reason that we ask that if you are moved by this account or any other persecution incident we have reported, please help us to protect suffering Christians by making a donation.
For those of you who are new to our group and unaware of how the law works in Pakistan. It is extremely difficult to get justice in a country where the state rarely prosecutes murder or rape cases or other criminal offences. To win these cases it is inevitable that those seeking justice have to pay for a solicitor to ensure cases even reach court. When taking murders and rapists to court, people need to be strong enough to stand up to families and friends of criminals who bully them into accepting ‘compensation’ bribes to drop legal action.
For the majority of Christian families who are a social-underclass in Pakistan, a good legal advisor is way beyond their means and the obstacles to gaining justice insurmountable. The simply suffer their loss or pain in silence unable to even get the police to begin an investigation in most cases.
Worse still, under the notorious Qisas and Diyat kaws of Pakistan which follow Sharia Law (Islamic laws found within the Koran) such compensation allows murderers and rapists to escape justice both spiritually and carnally.
Courts in Pakistan seem to desire out of court settlements for both civil and criminal cases involving Christians. Judges will intentionally take holidays during court hearings and allow the Muslim complainant in blasphemy cases where Christians are accused or felon
Here is an interesting article on the Qisas and Diyat Laws from the perspective of Sameera Rasheed concerned about honour killings. She describes a myriad of concerns that allow these laws to prevent justice (click here)
“The Qisas and Diyat laws are based on precepts of equal retribution and compensation. The basic principle of justice in Islamic laws as well as secular laws is proportionality or equal treatment: scales of justice should have balance. So, the principle of Qisas: an eye for eye, nose for nose and tooth for tooth, wound for wound; and Diyat — compensation for the victim or the heirs of the victim — has been enjoined in the Holy Quran.”