Pakistan Observer

Zardari condemns attack on Mardan church

Monday, September 24, 2012 - Islamabad—President Asif Ali Zardari Sunday condemned and deplored the attack and burning of a church in Mardan by a mob.

The President in a message said the highly provocative anti-Islam film had been condemned throughout the world and particularly in Pakistan by muslims and non muslims alike.

However the ransacking of public and private property particularly the places of worship of other religions was itself an un-Islamic and highly condemnable act. He said ransacking and vandalising revered places of worship and inflicting damage in retaliation amounted to playing into the hands of perpetrators of the crime who produced the anti- Islam film.

Describing the torching of the church as ‘unfortunate and reprehensibe ‘ the President said that it was contrary to the teachings of Islam which ordained respecting places of worship of all religions.

He said that incidents like this portrayed Pakistan and muslims negatively.

The President called upon the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to take all appropriate measures for protecting the places of worship of Christians and other minorities and address their grievances and take measures to avoid such incidents in future.

A protesting mob in Mardan city on Friday set a Sarhadi Lutheran Church on fire and torched the attached building of the church.

Meanwhile, Christian community in Mardan staged a strongly worded protest rally against torching of a church by protestors of blasphemy during Friday riots.

Thousands of Nationwide Christians participated, protesting through lightening candles and gas cylinders.

Addressing the occasion, Christian leaders, Akram Gul, Ishaq Teto, and others demanded from government to take appropriate sand effective steps for protection of rights and assets of minorities.

They said that if the government felt it couldn’t do so, it should take out the white strip (representing minorities) from National flag; while also expressing that the current government had failed to take adequate steps for protection of minorities.

They urged on President, PM, interior minister and chief minister to take a personal on-spot perspective of the situation; citing Islamic teachings and adherence to peace, harmony and inter0-faith co-existence.

The community leaders also expressed their grievances about wastage of 80-year old record, and Rs.6 million worth of damages, requesting CJP to take notice of the issue within 3 days, ordering immediate arrest of responsible culprits; failing which the Nationwide Christian community would hold a Nationwide movement.—APP/Online

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