After the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti in 2011, Dr. Paul Bhatti accepted a political role in the government, knowing that he was not a politician. I believe he had some concern for minorities in Pakistan that is why he left Europe to continue the work which was left undone by the sad demise of his brother Shahbaz Bhatti.
There is no doubt that the government of Pakistan is incapable to save those who are on hit list of extremists. It is a sad to see Dr. Paul Bhatti leave even when he has received various life threats. However, it is quite understandable that why he wants to go for they have lost dear ones and want to fight for the noble cause.
It is possible that during this time of enforced exile Dr. Paul Bhatti will be able to sharpen his political understanding, to maintain his profile in the international community and good will among overseas Pakistanis.
After decades of false blasphemy accusations, murders, attacks and social injustice thousands of Christians in Pakistan are making the difficult decision to leave their country. They are leaving Pakistan and seeking refugee status in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia through UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Unfortunately it is a quite lengthy and tiring process while UN agency and the respective governments and least helpful.
In the present context there are high risks for those who seek Pakistan to be a moderate Islamic state where there are people of all faiths and none could live peacefully. In this regard, killings of religious scholars, politicians, ordinary people and people from law enforcement agencies and the armed forces paint a hopeless picture.
Pakistan has already lost some charismatic political leaders and brilliant brains and the Christian community has no exception. Pakistani Christians are already victim of leadership crises so leaders and potential need to find ways to live for their people. It is extremely important to live for those who are dying for no reason.
‘We don’t live for ourselves and we don’t die for ourselves. If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to God.’ (Roman 8.7-9)
(Revd Rana Youab Khan formerly International Dialogues Assistant to the Archbishop of Canterbury and Worldwide Anglican Communion)