Church leaders condemn mob violence in Sargodha

The National Council of the Churches in Pakistan (NCCP) has strongly condemned the violent attack on the Christian community in Mujahid Colony, Sargodha, allegedly orchestrated by elements affiliated with an extremist religio-political party.

In a press statement, NCCP President Bishop Azad Marshall said the distressing incident in which a violent mob attempted to lynch an elderly Christian, Nazeer Masih, ransacked his house and burned his small factory on unfounded allegations of blasphemy were reminiscent of the attacks on Christians in Jaranwala in August last year.

"We are alarmed by the reported presence of law enforcement officers during the attack who did not take action, suggesting a grave dereliction of duty in protecting vulnerable communities. This occurrence underscores the critical need for decisive actions to counter extremism and safeguard religious minorities, aligning with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam," he said.

The senior church leader called for a comprehensive and impartial investigation as per the directives of the Supreme Court into the actions of both the perpetrators and the negligent law enforcement officials. 
"Furthermore, we implore the authorities to guarantee the protection of individuals falsely accused of blasphemy and to take necessary measures to reestablish peace and security in Sargodha," the statement added.

The NCCP president and other officials including Reverend Majeed Abel, Rev Arif Siraj and Col McDonald Chandi also expressed solidarity with the affected families and appealed to the government to uphold justice and equality for all citizens.

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