He Was Trying to Prevent Drug Dealers from Corrupting Christian Youth
By Jeremy Reynalds, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service (firstname.lastname@example.org)
LAHORE, PAKISTAN (ANS-April 14, 2016) — Rasheed Bibi wife of slain Christian man Nazeer Masih and her son Patris Masih have been left haunted by and horrific attack on her husband.
According to a story by the British Pakistani Christians Association (BPCA), the victim, Nazeer Masih, 55, lived in a small village called Wandala Dayal Shah and worked for a local realtor. He was left with only one arm a few years ago after an accident at a factory where he was previously employed. His wife Rasheeda Bibi told the BPCA that he lived a simple life and had no enemies.
However, on the evening of April 6, 2016, Nazeer Masih was cutting grass in some fields with his Muslim friend Nawaz, when two people he knew armed with a chopping knife and iron rod attacked him slashing right through his face and slicing open his throat.
Apparently an argument had ensued after Nazeer had told them to leave the young Christians in his community alone.
The men also attacked his friend Nawaz who was a witness to the attack. Despite a wounded head, he escaped and ran towards other villagers and told them what happened. Nawaz was not the primary target of the men as he is a Muslim.
BPCA said some villagers put Nawaz in a rickshaw and got him to the local hospital, while others ran to Nazeer Masih. Sadly, by the time they reached him he had died.
Nazeer Masih’s son, Patris Masih, 35, was one of the men who ran to the location of his father.
He told the BPCA that when he reached him he was horrified by the brutality of the savage attack his father had endured. The attackers had sliced his father’s face several times. The scene left Patris in shock. He broke down and cried beside his father’s dead body, and is still heartbroken and traumatized.
Local villagers called police naming two Muslim men as the murderers, Nadir and Haider from a nearby village. However, BPCA said, police officials refused to register a First Incident Report (FIR) for the crime and no action was taken by them.
On April 7, 2016, a group of Christians frustrated by the lack of police activity over what they considered a clear case of murder case took the dead body of Nazeer Masih to the nearby G T Road and staged a protest rally.
After a couple of hours’ demonstration and negotiation with senior police officials, BPCA said the group agreed to bury the body on the assurance that a First Information Report (FIR) would be filed and the complaint investigated.
Pastor Alfred Azam said in the story, “This is not the first incident of persecution of Christians in our village. Local Muslims are always creating problems for our Christian community. Before and after our church services, Muslim drug dealers swarm around our church trying to sell drugs to our vulnerable youth. Some drug pushers move around in Christian residential areas, and beat young Christians forcing them to take drugs in an attempt to get them addicted. When our older men tell these criminals to leave our young people alone, they get killed.”
Journalist Shamim Masih of BPCA, said in the story, “When I visited the local police station, the Senior House Officer was not present. However, more junior officials told me that there is a pending investigation of this alleged murder. As soon as police are able to find any clue for the murder, an FIR will be registered against the culprits.”
A complaint has been registered, and BPCA said police are searching for the alleged killers, Nadir and Haider, who were named by eye witness Mohammad Nawaz.
BPCA said, “Some Christians are hopeful for success with this case as a Muslim key witness was also injured, and as a result the police have been relatively cooperative following their initial traditional insouciance towards an attack on Christians.”
However, to date no arrests have been made and other Christians believe senior police officials haven’t done much.
Wilson Chowdhry, Founder and Chairman of the BPCA, said in the story, “Often Pakistani Christian asylum applications to the UK are denied on the basis that Christians are offered a police service and have a judicial system set up too protect them. Yet in this case, once again we have evidence of a corrupt and poorly administered rule of law that is biased against the deprived Christian community. Britain has to review its current home office policy towards Pak-Christians. Their risk profile for such asylum seekers is based on the false premise that a developed law and order mechanism operates in Pakistan. This simply is not true.”
He added, “The problem of drug addiction in Christian communities is a rising concern …. it is high time the government of Pakistan set up a (special) task force to crack down on the drug cartels that have destroyed so many lives.”
For more information, please visit www.britishpakistanichristians.org.
Photo captions: 1) Picture of Nazeer Masih before his brutal death. 2) Family of the slain Christian. 3) Journalist Shamim Masih receives a photo of Nazeer Masih at their home. 4) Jeremy and Elma Reynalds.
About the writer: Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter, www.joyjunction.org. He has a master’s degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is “From Destitute to Ph.D.” Additional details on “From Destitute to Ph.D.” are available at www.myhomelessjourney.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife, Elma. For more information, please contact: Jeremy Reynalds at email@example.com.
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