Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) has appealed to Christians around the world to observe Sunday, January 30, 2011, as a “Day of Prayer” for the release of Christian mother Asia Bibi, who has been sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy, and also for the “total repeal of Pakistan’s blasphemy Laws.”
|A previous protest that took place in Lahore|
The group that was established in 1994 to work for the promotion and protection of human rights with special focus to women, children and minorities, has also asked Christians to fast on that day and “peacefully protest” for the release of Bibi, the 45-year-old Christian woman and mother of five children who is facing death by hanging, and also against Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws.
Naveed Walter, President of HRFP said, “We appeal to all Christians, NGO’s, human rights activists and political workers, to take part in this peaceful protest. We also request that all the Churches offer prayers for the peace and harmony of our country, and for organizations to arrange meetings to register their protest so that this day will become ‘the voice’ against the persecution of Christians in Pakistan.”
Walter went on to say, “It is urgent that we gather all Christians together and devise one combined strategy to meet this challenge. Now is the right time to start a movement.”
|Naveed Walter speaking|
Walter singled out the assassination of Salman Taseer, the 66-year-old governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, who was allegedly assassinated by Mumtaz Qadri, 26, his own Elite Force security guard at Kohsar market, Islamabad, on Tuesday, January 4, 2010.
“If we don’t act now, this custom will become a daily regular practice and we will keep on losing our leaders and people,” he said.
Walter went on to say that the killing of the governor meant that people were losing their confidence and many people in Pakistani were “living in a state of extreme fear.”
Walter concluded by saying, “Our group, and others who are like-minded, have decided that it is now the time to make a strong movement for Asia’s release, and for the uniting against the discriminatory laws and persecution that is taking place here in Pakistan.”