Lahore : Members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have demanded from the government those who are involved in attacks on Churches in Youhanabad, in lynching and burning of two persons must be brought to justice in order to restore peaceful atmosphere in the area.
Speaking at the press conference here on Friday, Peace and Development Foundation (PDF) Executive Director Romana Bashir said that CSOs demand that those who are involved in the attack on Churches, directly or indirectly, must be brought to justice.
Besides, proper investigation of those who were involved in the law and order situation, lynching and burning of two persons, who were allegedly found near Churches at the time of attacks, should be brought to justice.
She was flanked by Rev Irshad Ashakanz, Vicar, Christ Church Youhanabad; Hafiz Muhammad Noman Hamid, Director, World Council of Religions; Dr Muhammad Akram Zia, a social activist; Irfan Mufti, Deputy Director, South Asia Partnership Pakistan, Khalid Shahzad, a human rights activist.
She said that PDF initiated interfaith dialogue between Christian and Muslim communities of Youhanabad and surrounding areas to mitigate gap created after the blast incidents.
PDF aims to promote interreligious understanding and cooperation to achieve a tolerant and peaceful society through the joint efforts of civil society organizations, she added. The civil society activists demanded that the joint investigation team (JIT) formed to probe into Youhanabad incident should brief the media on status and updates of their investigation in cases. They said Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif was elected from Youhanabad in general elections 2013 but he has not paid a single visit to the area after the incident. They also said that despite CM Punjab’s constituency Youhanabad still lacked far behind in the development and demanded from the CM to take measures for the development in his constituency.
There is still fear and insecurity looming in the Youhanabad and surrounding areas, they said, and demanded that government must take practical steps to restore peaceful atmosphere in the area. The activists also demanded that government must order education institutions/boards to take exams of those students who could not appear in exams due to Youhanabad incident.
The raid and arrest process must stop now in Youhanabad as it is creating further fear and insecurity among the residents of the area. The activists said that the government must recognize valorous act of Akash Bashir and Obaid Sardar who sacrificed their life to save others in Youhanabad blasts and demanded from the government to announce civil awards for them.
PDF is a non-profit, non-government, non-political and non-sectarian organization which believes in unity in diversity and in the equality of all citizens, regardless of religion, sex, class, caste, occupation, language, ethnicity or any other differentiation.
PDF aims to deal constructively and proactively with issues such as peace and reconciliation, interfaith harmony, gender equality, discriminatory legislation, cultural and social practices, humanitarian issues, as well as poverty reduction through development activities.