Parcel bomb critically injures Christians in Pakistan

Published 13 June 2009  |  
A Christian colony was the subject of a parcel bomb blast in Pakistan in the latest of a series of incidents targeting the minuscule community.

According to a source, at least 10 Christians were injured when a parcel bomb exploded in Hasilpur, Bahawalpur district.

The injured, including four women and two children are said to be in a very critical condition.

Nazir S Bhatti, chief of Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC), condemned the heinous incident and said, "the news was not highlighted in media due to Christians being targets".

He said the Pakistan government censors such incidents to avoid international pressure and mounting human rights violations.

Even the presence of Christian internally displaced persons (IDPs) in refugee camps, he said, were not revealed for the same reason.

The incident comes close on the heels of a Christian man hacked to death for using a cup designated for Muslims.

According to the International Christian Concern (ICC), Muslim radicals May 9 attacked Ishtiaq Masih who ordered tea at a roadside stall in Machharkay village.

"When Ishtiaq went to pay for his tea, the owner noticed that he was wearing a necklace with a cross and grabbed him, calling for his employees to bring anything available to beat him for violating a sign posted on the stall warning non-Muslims to declare their religion before being served," the ICC reported.

The owner and 14 of his employees, said the human rights organisation, beat Ishtiaq with stones, iron rods and clubs, and stabbed him multiple times with kitchen knives even as Ishtiaq pleaded for mercy.

A correspondent from the ICC confirmed that he saw a warning posted outside the tea stall, which read: "All non-Muslims should introduce their faith prior to ordering tea. This tea stall serves Muslims only."

Recently, after the military offensive against the Taliban, the country has also witnessed spiraling violence targeting minorities.

Pastor Salim Sadiq of Holy Spirit Church in Karachi earlier told Christian Today that homes belonging to the community were pounded by the Islamic extremists who have vowed to avenge for "the suffering of their brotherhood in NWFP area."

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