Citing lax government response to Islamic extremist attacks on a Christian community last August, an advocacy group recently filed another plea for justice with the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Implementation of Minority Rights Forum Chairman Samuel Makson filed the application on Feb. 7 with a request for a hearing as early as possible on redress for the attack on Christians’ homes and shops on Aug. 16 in Jaranwala, Faisalabad District, Punjab Province.
Makson had filed a similar plea in the Supreme Court on Dec. 8, seeking an early hearing of the suo motu notice taken by the Supreme Court after Muslim mobs in Jaranwala ransacked and burned at least 20 church buildings and more than 100 homes of Christians over allegations of desecration of the Quran and blasphemous writings.
RELATED: Check out other stories on the persecuted church here.
Makson’s latest petition states that soon after the incident, both the caretaker chief minister of Punjab and caretaker prime minister had separately visited Jaranwala and pledged compensation of 2 million rupees (USD $7,145) to each victim family. The two officials also promised restoration of the damaged church buildings within three days, it added.
The latest petition notes that the government’s assessment of Christians’ losses was flawed, stating that 146 houses were damaged while the government report cited only 80 affected homes.
“Of these 80 households, the government has compensated 76 families, while the remaining four haven’t received the promised amount,” the petition states.
It adds that despite repeated efforts by Christian groups to rectify the assessment, officials remain indifferent.
Little hope for justice
Most of the suspects in the Jaranwala attacks have been released on bail or discharged due to defective investigation by police, “unsubstantiated” naming of them by some Christian complainants and lax attitudes of senior Christian leaders, sources said.
Pakistan ranked seventh on Open Doors’ 2024 World Watch List of the most difficult places to be a Christian, as it was the previous year.