Jaranwala Incident Hearing in Pakistan’s Supreme Court Gets Postponed

Farrukh Saif

August 24, 2023

The hearing of the Jaranwala incident case by the Supreme Court of Pakistan has been postponed. The apex court, originally scheduled to address the matter on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, has delayed the hearing, as confirmed by sources within the court.

Three-member bench of the apex court

The intended proceedings were to be led by a three-member bench of the apex court, with Chief Justice of Pakistan Umer Ata Bandial presiding. Justices Athar Minallah and Shahid Waheed were also part of this bench. The case had been brought forward by Samuel Maksan, Chairman of the Implementation Minority Rights Forum Lahore. Samuel Maksan submitted a civil miscellaneous application (CMA) to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, against the Federation of Pakistan, under the guidance of Chairperson Dr. Mehdi Hassan & others. In his submission, Samuel Maksan appealed to the Supreme Court to accept the CMA. He urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take appropriate action based on the provided information, emphasizing that this action would contribute to the administration of justice.

Distressing situation

The Pakistani Christian community continues to grapple with the distressing events that unfolded in Jaranwala, Pakistan on August 16, 2023. During this incident, distressing imagery emerged showing Christian churches and residences ablaze and reduced to ruins. The incident triggered widespread outrage both within the nation and internationally. Condemnations poured in, calling upon the Pakistani government to respond firmly to the culprits responsible.

The incident appears to indicate that it may have been instigated by alleged accusations of blasphemy. While the precise motives behind the attack remain unclear, reports suggest that on Wednesday, August 16, two Christian brothers faced accusations of blasphemy, supposedly involving the desecration of the Quran. This narrative spread through mosque loudspeakers and incendiary videos circulated on social media platforms, inciting a retaliatory response from Muslims. At that point, local Christians had already fled, anticipating an assault. Vandals took advantage of the deserted properties, pillaging and setting fire to the premises.

Tension Continues

Accounts suggest that approximately 5,000 Muslim extremists descended upon a predominantly Christian neighborhood in Jaranwala. There, they ransacked Christian homes, churches, vehicles, and businesses. The violence left around 400 Christian households either affected or entirely destroyed by the fires. Additionally, perpetrators desecrated, damaged, or set ablaze twenty-six churches. They used cranes to tear down some churches, tore down crosses atop these places of worship, and gathered and set alight Bibles.

Survivors of this mob assault are now grappling with heartache and a landscape of devastation left in the wake of the attackers. Numerous Christian families find themselves without shelter, lacking access to food and clean drinking water. Their means of sustaining a livelihood have suffered severe compromise

Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a courageous Christian human rights activist, established the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to confront religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His dedication to liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns and advocating for blasphemy victims and asylum seekers has garnered international acclaim. Despite encountering threats and fatwas, his impactful work persists in supporting marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, enhancing its global outreach.

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