22 May | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

PEF urges govt to protect all citizens, condemns mob attack on Christians, churches

Azhar Hussain urges Islamic scholars to raise awareness in public about importance of tolerance, acceptance and respect for all

Peace and Education Foundation (PEF) President Azhar Hussain and his team members condemned recent mob attack on Christians, vandalizing churches and a cemetery and setting scores of houses on fire in a predominantly Christian area in Faisalabad.

After announcing arrests of suspected rioters, the local police registered terror cases against over 600 people for rampage. The Punjab government announced restoration of all the churches and the homes damaged in the mob violence within a week to their original state and vowed to prevent any such conspiracy in the future.

All the panel members termed the targeting of the community shameful, and act of terror. They said that the mob-led attack was a planned conspiracy to sabotage peace in Pakistan. According to the police, the mob vandalized and set fire to the houses and churches. They that cases have been registered under the charges of terrorism and blasphemy including 13 other provisions.

PEF requests president, PM to consult all stakeholders to protect citizens

“We are deeply saddened by this unfortunate incident in Faisalabad. Such acts of violence and intolerance are not only deplorable but also go against the principles of humanity, religious beliefs, national laws, peace, and coexistence,” Azhar Hussain said in a statement, issued in Islamabad. He asked authorities to take action to bring perpetrators of this attack to justice.

The Peace and Education Foundation believes that every individual has right to practice their faith freely and without fear, and it condemns any act that threatens basic fundamental rights. It said that the attack on the Christians was not only an attack on Christian’s religious beliefs and institutions but also on the fundamental values of interfaith principals, and Pakistani laws that promise to protect all citizens.

The PEF president called on the Islamic scholars to raise awareness in the public about the constitution and the importance of tolerance, acceptance and respect for all religions, and faiths. He requested President Dr Arif Alvi and Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar to make their priority to develop sustainable mechanism to work with political, community, faith and opinion leaders to educate their followers in religious freedom and constitutional rights of all citizens.

“At Peace and Education Foundation, we are committed to promoting peace, interfaith tolerance, acceptance and education in our society,” Azhar Hussain said. “We extend our solidarity and support for the Christian community during this challenging time.” It is pertinent to mention here that the Peace and Education Foundation is a non-governmental organization that promotes pluralism, tolerance, acceptance and peace through education and capacity-building programs.