Paramilitary troops called in as mob sets churches on fire in Jaranwala


Dozens arrested in police crackdown n Public gatherings, processions banned for 7 days in Faisalabad n Shehbaz Sharif,
Asif Zardari condemn attacks on churches in Jaranwala.

Gutted by attacks, PM warns of stern action against those who target minorities.

JARANWALA/LAHORE/ISLAMABAD  -  Angry mob vandalised at least eight churches and several homes following accusations of blasphemy in Jaranwala neigh­bourhood of Faisalabad district. Police said more than 100 peo­ple were arrested for their in­volvement in riots over desecra­tion of the Holy Quran. 

A Punjab government spokes­person in a statement said that the provincial government had also ordered a high-level inqui­ry into the incident. Earlier, in­terim Punjab Information Minis­ter Amir Mir stated that “dozens of people who disturbed peace” in the area were detained. In a statement, the minister said that the violence in Jaranwala was done under a well-thought-out conspiracy.

“There was a plan to disturb the peace by inciting public sen­timents. After the desecration of the Holy Quran, the angry pro­testers reacted strongly,” Mir said, adding that the situation in Fais­alabad is fully under control now. 

The provincial minister also said that the investigation into the tragic incident of the dese­cration of the holy book is un­derway at a fast pace, adding that anyone who tries to take the law into his hands would be ar­rested immediately. More than 6,000 policemen and Rangers personnel are present in the af­fected areas, he added. 

As the law and order situa­tion worsened in Faisalabad, the Government of Punjab called in Armed Forces of the Pakistan Rangers to deescalate the situ­ation. Churches and surround­ing Christian settlements were vandalised and ransacked at Ja­ranwala road district Faisala­bad, Punjab after a Christian man was accused of blasphemy. The police reached at the spot to control the deteriorating law and order situation in the area. “An FIR has been lodged and we are trying to control the situa­tion at this moment,” a local po­lice official told reporters. 

Faisalabad Deputy Commis­sioner (DC) Ali Anan Qamar strictly prohibited public gath­erings, meetings and proces­sions under section 144 of Crim­inal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Faisalabad.

A spokesman for district ad­ministration said here on Wednesday that after observing severe law and order situation due to the alleged incident of desecration of the Holy Quran in Tehsil Jaranwala, the DC immedi­ately imposed ban on all kinds of

assemblies, gatherings, sit-ins, rallies, processions, demonstra­tions, protests, firing, burning of any public/private buildings and such like other activities within the territorial jurisdic­tion of Faisalabad district.

This order shall come into force with immediate effect and remain in force for 7 days, he added. According to a po­lice report, two Christian men were arrested by local police in the town of Jaranwala on the grounds of “desecrating the holy Quran. The report stated that the men had been booked un­der Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. 

Multiple churches including the town’s Catholic Church, the Salvation Army Church and the Pentecostal Church, as well as the local Christian colony, were also vandalised and set on fire, Talib told reporters. 

In a statement Wednesday, the assistant commissioner for Faisalabad, where the town is located, called for the deploy­ment of armed forces to sup­port enforcing law and order, describing the situation as “sen­sitive and vulnerable.” 

Riina Kionka, the EU ambassa­dor to Pakistan, said the reports were “disturbing.” 

“The degree to which a soci­ety’s minorities feel safe, in Pa­kistan, in the European Union, around the world, is a measure of respect for the rule of law, for tolerance of diversity, a core EU value,” she posted on X on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Wednesday said that he was “gutted” by the visuals coming from Jaranwala involving the attack on minorities, assuring that stern action would be tak­en against law violators. 

“I am gutted by the visuals coming out of Jaranwala, Fais­alabad. Stern action would be taken against those who vio­late law and target minorities,” the prime minister wrote on so­cial media platform X, formerly Twitter. 

He was responding to a post on X by President Bishop Church of Pakistan Bishop Azad Marshall, who highlighted an in­cident of attack on a church and torturing of Christians on blas­phemy accusations in Jaran­wala. The prime minister said that all law enforcement agen­cies had been asked to appre­hend culprits and bring them to justice. “Rest assured that the government of Pakistan stands with our citizenry on an equal basis,” he remarked.


Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday strong­ly condemned the incidents in Jaranwala and said that he was saddened to hear about the at­tack on Churches in Jaranwala, Faisalabad.

Chairman PPP wrote on so­cial media platform X, formerly Twitter, ”Violating the sanctity of places of worship is absolute­ly unacceptable. The adminis­tration must ensure the safety of the Christian community and their Churches.”

Meanwhile, in a statement was also issued from the media cell Bilawal House, in which he expressed concern over the de­teriorating law and order situa­tion in Jaranwala. 

He urged that all resources should be utilized for overcom­ing religious tensions in Jaran­wala and establishing peace. “The reports of provocations re­ceived from Jaranwala are dis­turbing,” he regretted.

Bilawal Bhutto said that PPP is the torch bearer of religious harmony and protection of peo­ple belonging to all faiths in the country.


President Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) Asif Ali Zardari has strongly condemned the Jaranwala inci­dent.

In a statement issued here by the party secretariat, Asif Zardari said that the incident should be investigated. 

He further said that in our re­ligion, Islam, it is taught that places of worship should be re­spected. The spread of terror and chaos in the country should be discouraged, he said.

Such a madness can’t be al­lowed, Pakistan belongs to all: Shehbaz

Mian Shehbaz Sharif has con­demned the Church attack in Jaranwala and said it was dis­turbing. “There is no place for violence in any religion. All re­ligious places, books and per­sonages are sacred and deserve our highest level of respect”, the former PM said in a tweet. He urged the government to take action against the culprits and also appealed to Ulema and re­ligious scholars from all schools of thought to come forward and condemn the reprehensible ac­tions. “Such a madness cannot be allowed. Pakistan belongs to all religious minorities”, he ob­served.

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