Catholic clergy led protest rally on Sangla Hill incident demanding Judicial Probe. By Abbas Kassar
18 Nov 2005
HYDERBABAD, November 17, 2005: A big rally comprising large number of minority community mainly Christians as well as Hindus took out rally from Catholic Church Tilk Chari and marching on main roads reached press club here on Thursday to protest agai
The rally was led by Brother Philip Hera Director Catholic National Commission for Justice and Peace, Father Daniel Fayaz, Peter Joseph, Masood Jamal Khanzada and Father Victor John. It was also joined by Hindu community led by M.Parkash.. The speakers deplored what they called persecution of minorities in Pakistan. They said that on 12 November,2005 violent mob attacked Christian community at Sangla Hill and
burnt Catholic Church, Salvation Army Church, United Church of Pakistan, Sisters Convent, and Girls Hostel. They said that the mob comprising people between one to two thousands also damaged the home of Priest. They said that during this violent act the
administration took no step to stop it and witnessed it as silent spectators. The attack was made under pre-planned scheme, they said and added that this incident has made memory of Shanti Nagar incident afresh. They said that earlier more than 1000 people of Christian community were threatened of dangerous consequences due to which almost all families had already left their homes for safe place. They said that the reason for this incident was told to be the desecration of Holy Quran by one Christian young man Yousuf Masih but such an incident had never happened.
They said that preliminary inquiry had revealed that there was dispute of money between Yousuf Mashi and the complainant of desecration named Sonaria and that police had arrested Saleem Masih the brother of Yousuf Masih one day before the incident. They said that the Christian religious leader Father Simson Dilawar had informed the situation to SHO of Saddar area police and requested him to provide protection to life and property of Christian community but he did not give any kind of attention to it. They asked government to seriously consider steps and ensure protection of the lives, properties and places of worship of Christians because they said that during last 4 years Bahawalpur Church, Christian Hospital Texila, Islamabad Church, Peace and Justice Institute Karachi, Chak No. 167 G.B Samundri and Shanti Nagar were made target of attacks in which many innocent people of Christian community were killed.. They said the Christian community of Pakistan was peaceful and they had served during the recent earthquake. They said the incidents like Shangla Hill were to defame the image of Pakistan and such miscreants were the enemies of nation and country who do not tolerate the solidarity among various communities of country. They said they were making protest in peaceful manner and ask government to play its due role to provide
protection to minorities. They also deplored kidnapping of Hindu girls in Sindh and then their forced conversion. The speakers also said that the Christian community had taken part in creation of Pakistan. Had the votes of Christians not been cast in favor of Pakistan the country would have not come into existence.
At the end they demanded judicial probe of the incident of Shangla Hillas well as that of incident of desecration of Holy Quran; to ensure protection of Christian Churches, to register case of abetting the miscreants on SHO; abolition of blasphemy law which
were causing hatred and social, racial and religious discrimination among people of Pakistan and that government should compensate the loss suffered by Christians. They also demanded arrest of those responsible of the attack.
Meanwhile all the educational institutions of Catholics remained closed on Thursday to mark the protest against Shangla Hill incident. Special prayers were offered in all Churches of city where the Christian community of Hyderabad offered full cooperation to their brethren made victim of the attack.