By BosNewsLife Asia Service
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)– The president of a Christian political party and lobby group in Pakistan has condemned authorities for failing to investigate violence against a Christian journalist by suspected Islamic hardliners.
Nazir S Bhatti, who leads the Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) party, said reporter Shamim Masih was attacked March 29 while visiting a Christian neighborhood in Islamabad, the capital.
He said two “unknown people on a motorbike” halted the journalist and told him to stop
covering Christian persecution.
“The motorbike riders got down from their bike and started beating Shamim Masih. [They] broke his arm and warned him that if he not stopped reporting on Christian issues, they knew his family and home and would teach him and his family a lesson,” Bhatti added in a statement.
Shamim Masih covers Christian persecution in Pakistan for several media besides reporting for a national newspaper and television.
“If such attacks or threats were directed against a Muslim journalist then police would…[immediately] investigate the incident and [try to] detain attackers,” Bhatti claimed. “But as Shamim Masih is a Christian journalist…the police and administration are not paying any attention or interest to investigate this incident.”
Nazir said the PCC has demanded immediate registration of what is known as a ‘First Information Report’ by police, a procedure leading to a criminal investigation, and to provide him with security.
The incident came just days before the brother of prominent Christian rights advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill was shot. Pervaiz Gill suffered a bullet wound to his lower back, and was rushed to Jinah Hospital in Lahore [city] where it was removed.
Following the April 1 shooting, Gill said he had received a message from the local police leader, or ‘Station House Officer’, that he has “apologized” for not having “authority to provide security.”