Neighbour attacks Christian wedding, strips women naked, sets house on fire

    In yet another episode of violence against the country’s Christian community, a wedding was crashed, women were harassed and a house was set on fire in Farooqabad city of Sheikhupura district.

    According to Asia News, the incident occurred on December 10, ironically when people belonging to Pakistan’s vulnerable communities took to roads on International Human Rights Day, seeking their basic rights as enshrined in the constitution.

    As per the details of the incident, Wazir Masih, a Christian sanitation worker, was celebrating the wedding of his son Ahsan at their residence when his Muslim neighbour, Tariq Pehalwan, stormed in and began harassing women.

    Shortly after being thrown out, he returned with a dozen armed people, five of whom remain unidentified.

    The group of men, which reportedly also included a suspended cop, assaulted the guests and even tried to strip the women naked while resorting to aerial firing.

    Pehalwan told the family they needed to be “taught a lesson” for holding a “Christian celebration”, while his associates continued to assault the guests, the report said, adding that the attackers fled before the police could arrive.

    They later returned to rob the wedding guests of their valuables and then set the house ablaze.

    While no casualties were reported during the fire, an FIR [First Information Report] against the accused was registered on December 12 after the intervention of local activists.

    The accused, however, have either secured bail or remain at large.

    The report quoted Naveed Walter, president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP), as saying the incident taking place on International Human Rights Day proved that “human rights for Christians is merely a dream”.

    Activist Robin Daniel, who played a key role in saving the life of the family by promptly intervening on the day of the attack, said, “Influential Muslims attack [Christians] only for their faith and do not consider them worthy of equal rights.”

    “We shall not remain silent and will fight for justice,” he told Kross Konnection.

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