LHC seeks govt’s response on plea seeking judicial inquiry into Jaranwala incident

The Lahore High Court on Monday issued notices to the Punjab government in a petition filed by the president bishop of the Church of Pakistan seeking the formation of a judicial commission to investigate the Jaranwala incident.

Bishop Azad Marshall said that Justice Asim Hafeez of the Lahore High Court has sought the Punjab government’s response on Sept 11, regarding his petition for a judicial inquiry into the attacks on churches and homes of Christians in Jaranwala on Aug 16. 

“The court has directed the law officer to seek a report from the Punjab government as we have expressed our concerns over the police investigation,” he said.

Marshall said he hoped that a judicial inquiry would also ascertain the causes of mob attacks, fix responsibility on the officials concerned and propose measures to curb these incidents. 

“The Jaranwala incident could have been prevented if appropriate steps were taken from the attacks in Shantinagar, Gojra and Joseph Colony, etc., but we have not seen any seriousness to address the root cause that leads to such violence,” he said.

Violent mobs incited by a hard-line religious party attacked churches and homes of Christian residents in Jaranwala tehsil in Faisalabad district after two Christian brothers were accused of blasphemy on Aug. 16. 

Multiple churches were set on fire and homes and businesses of Christians were ransacked for hours while police were silent spectators, triggering condemnation across the world.

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