Pastoral Delegation Visit to Pakistan... Clement John

By : Clement John

Dear Mr Bhatti, Greetings from Geneva. I have just come across an article written by you about the WCC Delegation's Pastoral Visit to Pakistan. It was sent to me by one of the members of the delegation. I take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in the report of the delegation. While I appreciate your reflections on the visit, as the WCC staff person responsible for organising it I would like to respond to concern raised as follows. 1. The objective of the visit was pastoral in nature and it was meant to express solidarity with the churches and Christians in Pakistan; to meet with church leaders in order to understand and appreciate the challenges facing the churches in Pakistan. And finally to inform our member churches and the international community about the plight of Christians in the country. 2. The visit was made at the request of the WCC member church in the country and the National Council. All arrangements for the visit were made in close cooperation and consultation with Bishop Samuel Azariah, member of the WCC Governing Body and the National Council of Churches in Lahore. 3. The duration of the visit was one week and the cities covered were Karachi and Lahore. Given the shortage of time it was not possible to meet each and every concerned Christian in Pakistan, however much we would have liked to do so. Consequently priority was given to meetings with leaders of our member church, the National Council and others they considered necessary. 4. The delegation did not confine itself to meeting only the privileged class of Christians and Muslims in Pakistan as alleged, but it also visited villages in the Rawind Diocese and met Basti people in Karachi, including the widows and family members of the Idara staff killed in the September massacre. In addition the delegation met with members and representatives of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. As you know some HRCP members like Asma Jahangir and I.A. Rehman have done much to fight against discrimination and persecution of Christian minorities in Pakistan. The WCC works closely with HRCP on issues of human rights in the country. In Karachi the delegation met Muslim judges of the Superior Courts to get their views about the situation of Christians and of the people in general. Once again I would like to thank you for your thoughts and concerns. It would however have helped us more in planning for the future if you had specifically mentioned what is lacking in the report or what particular area the report fails to cover. I might add that the World Council of Churches undertakes such visits to situations of crisis when requested by its member churches. I have organised similar visits to Sudan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka and the reports of such visits have been much appreciated, not only by Christians but by others as well. The report of the Pakistan Visit was circulated to the UN agencies and country missions accredited to the United Nations in Geneva. It has been well received. The situation of Christians in Pakistan continues to be the concern of the WCC and we assure you that we will continue to monitor it and take all necessary steps as desired by our members. With all best wishes in your work. Clement John

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On demand of our readers, I have decided to release E-Book version of "Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" on website of PCP which can also be viewed on website of Pakistan Christian Congress . You can read chapter wise by clicking tab on left handside of PDF format of E-Book. ,