An open letter to President Bush on meeting of President Musharraf.
20 Jun 2003
The Honorable George Bush
President, United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Bush,
I, Nazir s Bhatti, Founder of Pakistan Christian Congress and Editor of Pakistan Christian Post, wish to write you on behalf of 15 million voiceless Christians of Pakistan to raise issues of religious freedom in Pakistan in your meeting with President Parvez Musharraf of Islamic Republic of Pakistan on June 24, 2003. The oppressed and persecuted Pakistani Christians urge you to press upon Pakistani government to ensure justice and religious freedom in Pakistan, which is in grave danger after implementation of Islamic laws in NWFP and intentions of Balouchistan government to table the shariat laws bill.
We wish to draw your kind attention on victimization of Christian community in Pakistan under blasphemy laws and arrests of Christians under section 295 B & C PPC, subject to death penalty. The repeal of blasphemy laws is an outstanding demand of Christians, which have been used as weapon by the Muslim fundamental groups on religious and business rivalry against poor Christians in Pakistan. The implementation of Islamic laws such as Hadood Ordinance, laws of compensation and evidence, blasphemy laws and article 203 D are in violations to basic fundamental and religious liberties of Christians conferred in constitutions of Pakistan. We urge the release of all the Christian in jails of Pakistan wrongfully detained to face death charges under blasphemy laws.
The minority commission formation under Liaquat - Neho pact of 1951 between Pakistan and India is not in existence in Pakistan. The personal laws of Christians are not protected in Pakistan and Muslim judges are issuing decrees on Christian marriages according to Islamic laws. The genocide of Christians is in progress in the name of Islamic laws by the hands of Muslim majority as well as by the government establishments of Islamic Ideology Council and Federal Shariat Courts by issuing orders and judgments under Islamic Laws. We request you to put up the issue of formation of Minority Commission under chairmanship of Supreme Court Justice for recommendations on presentations of Christians for religious freedom and electoral system in Pakistan. The Personal Law Board may be constituted to safeguard the Christian religious, social and cultural values as promised to Christians in the Pakistan Resolution of 1940.
The general Christians are not satisfied with the imposed election system of Joint Electorate by the Musharraf government and demand separate election system.
Muslim fundamental groups in Pakistan, killed 50 innocent Christian worshipers in 2001-2003, attacked the Christian Churches, schools and establishments. The President of Pakistan assured Christians to bring culprits to justice but unfortunately not a single terrorist Muslim have been convicted, involved in the attacks and millions of Christians are living in fear. We request your honor to press upon government of Pakistan to arrests the elements involved in attacks on Bahawalpur Church, Islamabad Church, Murree School, Taxila Mission Hospital and Justice and Peace Christian Charity in Karachi and present the terrorists in courts of laws.
The Christian Youth is deprived of their rights in government jobs and admissions in higher academic institutions of Pakistan and Christian women are raped and forced to marry Muslim influential individuals as part of Christian genocide in camouflage of Islamic laws.
We hope that you shall put the Christian community issues in your meeting with President Musharraf to ensure justice and peace with equal basic democratic, social and religious rights of Christians in Pakistan to safe millions on Christians in Pakistan.
Nazir S Bhatti.