Pak mob attacks churches, houses of Christians

Islamabad: Muslim fanatics attacked churches and burnt down scores of houses of the Christian community in Pakistan's Punjab province, a news report said.

A mob attacked two churches and gutted 75 houses of Christians over the alleged desecration of papers inscribed with Quran verses at a wedding ceremony in Punjab's Azafi Abadi village at Chak 95-JB on Thursday, Atif Jamil Pagaan and Ashfaq Fateh, leaders of the minority community was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper today.

Fearing attack, the members of the minority community fled the village that allowed the fanatics to attack the church, houses and cattle, the report said.

The station house officer of Gojra Sadar has been suspended by the District Police Officer (DPO) Inkisar Khan, the Pakistani daily said.

DPO Khan said a case has been registered against Mukhtar Maseeh, Talib Maseeh and Imran Maseeh, who were accused of desecrating the papers inscribed with Quran verses. it said.

Christians are the second largest religious minority community in Pakistan after Hindus. The total number of Christians in Pakistan is approximately nearly 3 million or 1.6 of the population.

Christians, like other minorities, have been targeted in Pakistan for flouting blasphemy laws. International rights groups have urged the government to change the law because it was being used to terrorize religious minorities.

Bureau Report