A special court has suspended the trial of a number of suspects alleged to have taken part in the slaughter of ten Christians, and the burning of nearly 100 houses in the Punjab province of Pakistan two years ago.
The decision was made after a key witness in the trial fled Pakistan. In the wake of the news the Anti-Terrorism Court in Faisalabad grated bail to the final three suspects who had been arrested over the atrocities that took place in August 2009. The other 63 suspects arrested in connection with the brutal killings had already been released on bail, ENInews has reported.
The chief public prosecutor had to explain to the court that a key eyewitness had fled to an “unknown place in a foreign country”. The court then decided to suspend the trial temporarily, and will give the key witness one year to re-appear. more >>
International Christian Concern has reacted with alarm to a proposal by Muslim clerics and politicians for the Bible to be banned in Pakistan.
In a statement on Thursday, ICC’s Regional Manager for South Asia, Jonathan Racho, said: “We are concerned by this call to the Bible in Pakistan. This demand by the Islamists is additional evidence of the worsening persecution of Christians in Pakistan.”
Last month, the leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Samiul Haq) or JUI-S party demanded for the Supreme Court of Pakistan to ban the Bible, saying “blasphemous” portions had been “added to the Bible.” more >>
Update: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has decided that Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman will present the budget instead of Kamran Michael. No reason has been given for selecting Mujtaba over Michael.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led by former prime minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has succumbed to pressure by most of its legislators of the Punjab Provincial Assembly to not let a Christian cabinet minister present the provincial budget for 2011-12 just because of his faith.
Kamran Michael, who holds the portfolio of Punjab Minorities Affairs Ministry, was given the additional charge of the provincial Finance Ministry, a few months ago [in March] when the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which was a coalition partner of the PML-N in Punjab, was forced to quit the government in wake of widening rift between the two parties. more >>
LAHORE, Pakistan – Armed Muslims disrupted the worship service of a church outside Lahore on Sunday (May 29), cursing the congregation, smashing a glass altar and desecrating Bibles and a cross, Christian leaders said.
Police initially tried to protect the leader of the Muslim intruders, the nephew of a former Member of the Punjab Assembly (MPA), and instead of making arrests eventually pressured Christians to accept an apology from the accused, they said.
Pastor Ashraf Masih of Numseoul Presbyterian Church in Lakhoki Kahna village told Compass that Muhammad Shoaib, nephew of former MPA Mansha Sindhu, entered the church building accompanied by four men armed with rifles and pistols and started cursing the congregation for “disturbing the peace of the area by worshipping on loudspeakers,” though the congregation was using loudspeakers only inside the church building. more >>
The U.S. mission that killed Osama bin Laden could be considered an “act of war,” said former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, during an interview aired Thursday night.
“Certainly no country has a right to intrude into any other country,” Musharraf, who was pressured to resign in 2008, told CNN’s Piers Morgan. “If technically or legally you see it, it’s an act of war.”
Al-Qaida head Osama bin Laden was assassinated on May 2 by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, about 30 miles northeast of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. No Pakistani government officials were informed of the raid ahead of time. more >>
Troops recaptured a Pakistani naval airbase on Monday after a 16-hour battle with as few as six Taliban gunmen who had launched their brazen attack to avenge the killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.
The assault casts fresh doubt on the Pakistani military's ability to protect its bases following a raid on the army headquarters in the city of Rawalpindi in 2009 and is a further embarrassment following the surprise raid by U.S. special forces on the al-Qaida leader's hideout north of Islamabad on May 2.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said just six militants were believed involved in the attack on the PNS Mehran base in Karachi late on Sunday, destroying or damaging two aircraft and laying siege to a main building in one of the most heavily guarded bases in the nuclear-armed country. However, sources in the intelligence agencies claimed that seven terrorists had surrendered to the commandoes and they were taken to an undisclosed location on board an aircraft. more >>