The horrific killing of the innocent Christians in the house of Lord during a Sunday service is the most heinous and condemnable act of terrorism, which no Muslim can even think of. Muslims and Christians have been living happily and cordially side by side ever since inception of Pakistan and much before that. They have been participating in each others' religious functions and festivals quite actively and harmoniously. Never for once such a horrendous barbaric act was ever attempted in Pakistan though, regrettably, the same can not be said for across the border where apart from numerous such mass killings a visiting pastor from Australia was burnt alive along with his children by the zealot Hindus.
The laudable role played by our Christian brethren in the nation building activities - be it in the politics or social works, armed forces or bureaucracy, trade commerce or industry, science or arts, sports and culture is second to none. They excel meritoriously in the fields of education, health care, hospices and hospitals. In fact most of the prime educational institutions and hospitals in the country owe their existence to the Christian missionaries. And let me add here also that not a single Muslim till date has been converted to Christianity by any of such great institutions. That alone speaks for their noble spirit of tolerance and respect for the Muslims' beliefs and faith.
Having said that, let's examine the real cause of this great tragedy. The very timing and nature of the crime smacks of foreign hidden hand to it. It is just not a sheer coincidence that it all happened during the visit of the German Chancellor to Pakistan. The enemy has very cleverly
chosen an opportune time to get the maximum coverage of the incident and thus cause damage to the image of Pakistan by projecting it as a terrorist state to the entire world. Remember, the massacre of thirty six Sikhs in the Indian Held Kashmir at the time of President Clinton's visit to India, for which the Indians unsuccessfully tried to blame the Kashmiri Freedom Fighters but later on it was established beyond any shadow of doubt that it was the Indian Army itself who had committed such a heinous crime.
Bahawalpur mayhem has also been timed when the entire world media men are gathered in Pakistan and that they were bound to cover the German Chancellor's visit in full, and thus guarantee the maximum possible negative publicity for Pakistan. One of the German constitutional amendments allows political asylum to any one seeking it. Essentially it was incorporated to help the East German defectors but for obvious reasons application of such an amendment could not be kept confined to only one country. Nationals of most third world countries - Turkish, Iranians, Pakistanis, Indians and others made the most of it by feigning and faking political victimization in their respective countries and getting settled in Germany.
Quite a few Christians from Pakistan also made use of this back door method in search of better economic prospects, particularly after a court in Sheikhupura, quite some time back, acquitted two Christians accused of blasphemy and the German government itself had offered them the asylum - thanks to the media hype by Human Rights Commission and others like it. As such the Christian episode is sort of known to the German people and hence a ready and attentive audience for the anti Muslim terrorist propaganda.
One can only hope that the world media will project only the truth this time.
Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)