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November 26, 2016

PIL lauds LHC verdict in Christian couple lynching case

Islamabad

November 26, 2016

Islamabad

Pakistan Inter-faith League (PIL) Chairman Sajid Ishaq has said that the decision by the Anti-terror Court (ATC) in Lahore in the ‘burning alive’ case of a Christian couple is very reassuring for the members of the Christian community in particular and for all the minority communities of Pakistan in general.

The ATC in Lahore on Wednesday awarded death sentence to 5 persons and 2 years imprisonment to another 8 persons involved as ‘collaborators’ besides imposing cash fines on them for lynching the young Christian couple, Sajjad and Shama, in Kot Radha Kishan of Kasur District in Punjab in November 2014.

While talking to ‘The News’, Sajid Ishaq, who is striving to promote inter-faith harmony and tolerance from the platform of PIL for past many years, said that the decision by the ATC was not an easy one under the circumstances.

“But the crime was so gruesome that it plunged the whole Christian community in a shock,” he said.

“The verdict by the ATC has certainly revived their confidence in the supremacy of judiciary and enhanced their faith in fair and free investigations conducted in this case. I would not say I support the death sentence but I would say that such a decision has become essential to prevent violence in the society amidst prevailing conditions in our country,” the PIL chairman said.

He said that while the role of judiciary, the law enforcing agencies and the investigation departments is playing a vital role to curb such violence in the society, we still have to work on the more basic issue of creating inter-faith harmony by promoting the culture of acceptance and tolerance among the followers of different faiths in Pakistan.

Pakistan was a signatory to international moratorium against death penalty before the government decided to walk away from it in the back drop of massacre of children in the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar.

“I sincerely hope and wish that the decision by the ATC in ‘Sajjad and Shama’ lynching case will serve as a strong preventive step against any such incident in future. The minority communities of our country will indeed feel reassured and will draw a sense of protection from this decision,” the PIL chairman added.