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Christian, wounded in the Pakistan attack, is reported to be in stable condition. –


The police detained 26 out of the 44 suspects who were Muslims.

A Christian in Sargodha, Pakistan, who was severely wounded in a mob attack on Saturday (May 25) because of false allegations of blasphemy, is in stable condition, sources said.

The mob of rioting Muslims beat Nazeer Masih Gill, 74, vandalized his house, and burned his shoe factory in Sargodha city’s Mujahid Colony after a mosque loudspeaker incited people to gather where he had burned wastepaper, a relative said.

“Gill underwent head surgery and is in stable condition now,” Inspector Shahid Iqbal of the Sargodha Urban Police Station told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News. “His family is safe and is being kept at a government guesthouse because of security concerns.

They may return to their homes when the situation normalizes.

Gill had burned wastepaper in the street outside his home and gone inside when someone threw a copy of the Quran into the fire, his nephew, Irfan Gill, said.

A Muslim neighbor accused him of desecrating the Quran and instigated local Muslims to attack him, he said.

Sargodha remained relatively calm on Sunday despite a day of violence in Mujahid Colony over blasphemy allegations. According to sources, the police have detained 26 Muslims, while 44 named suspects and 300 to 400 unidentified rioters are facing charges.

The case against the rioters, filed by Iqbal, involves multiple charges under anti-terrorism laws and the Pakistan Penal Code. These charges include attempted murder, obstruction of public officials, assault on a public official, and intentional destruction or harm using fire or explosive materials.

Among the first to respond to the emergency call, Iqbal said police and the Sargodha Peace Committee members had tried their best to calm the mob. However, the rioters set fire to Nazeer Gill’s shoe factory and attempted to enter his house from the adjoining buildings.

“The mob destroyed electricity meters and outdoor AC units outside Gill’s home and set them ablaze,” Iqbal said. “We rescued Gill from the burning building, but as soon as we brought him out, the mob started throwing stones at us and snatched him from our custody.

They then beat him with stones and sticks and also attacked us when we tried to intervene. At least ten policemen were injured while trying to save the man and transport him to the hospital.”

Raids on suspects followed police reviews of CCTV footage and social media videos, he said.

“We will make all efforts to arrest and prosecute all those who took the law into their hands,” Iqbal said. “No one may challenge the writ of the state.”

He rejected criticism of the police for not stopping the mob from assaulting Gill, saying his colleagues’ injuries showed that they had made all efforts.

“Several Muslim residents and clerics also played a positive role in the situation, which was why we could rescue Gill’s family. Otherwise, they too could have fallen victim to the violent mob,” he said.

Nazeer Gill is facing charges of blasphemy. According to Iqbal, the police were ensuring a thorough and just investigation, following due process of law.

An undisclosed Sargodha police official mentioned that residents attested to the victim and his family’s positive reputation and absence of involvement in religious disputes.

He told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News, “It’s quite possible that someone used the incident to trap Gill and his family, and we are determined to find the truth and hold the perpetrator accountable.”

Security Beefed Up

On Sunday, over 1,000 police personnel were sent to churches and Christian-populated areas in Sargodha District to enforce a seven-day ban on protests and sit-ins.

According to Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, a Christian politician from Sargodha, several Christian families who fled their homes on Saturday returned.

“I appreciate the local police and district officials for deploying adequate personnel in our areas, which has given confidence to our people,” Chaudhry said.

“However, this is the ninth incident related to blasphemy in Sargodha since 2023, and I urge the government to make sure that whoever is trying to disrupt peace and cause communal discord is identified and punished according to the law.”

A prominent Islamic cleric and chairman of the Central Moon Sighting Committee, Maulana Abdul Khabeer Azad, and Islamic scholars of various schools of thought and Christian leaders held a press conference at the Sargodha commissioner’s office on Sunday (May 26).

Maulana Azad said that honoring and protecting all divine books was their responsibility and a part of their faith.

“Islam orders the protection of the rights of the minorities, and the Constitution of Pakistan is the guarantor of the rights of all minorities,” Azad said. “No one can set up his court in the country.”

He added that anti-national forces wanted to harm national unity by creating unrest in Pakistan through religious riots and chaos.

“Respect for humanity, a violence-free society, religious harmony, and the promotion of the message of Pakistan were the responsibilities of all citizens,” he said, commending timely notice of the attack by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

The Catholic Archbishop of Lahore, Sebastian Francis Shaw, said Christians were peace-loving citizens and respected all faiths.

“Inter-ethnic and inter-faith harmony is the most important need of the hour,” he said.

Punjab Minority Affairs Minister Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora, in a video statement, said the country’s law and the constitution protected minorities. The minister stated that damaging property based on blasphemy allegations was improper.

Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora declared that the purpose of these events was to damage Pakistan’s image. Nobody has the right to disobey a law.

Pakistan held onto its seventh spot on Open Doors’ 2024 World Watch List, reaffirming its status as one of the most brutal places for Christians, just as it was in the previous year.

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International Christian News publishes reports on the mission field, specifically focusing on the persecuted church and providing daily gospel news. The organization aims to fulfill the Great Commission, edify the global Christian community, and bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.