“You infidel” is the expression the caretakers of religion—Islam– here in Pakistan use against those who believe in the same God with a different set of beliefs. Ironically, Pakistan’s origin has certainly carried more secularism as compared to what it looks like today with extremism and insecurity for all those “whose God seems different from ours”. 15 million Christians of Pakistan who are as Pakistani as anyone of you face different sort of challenges to survive here with a constant fear of being in minority or I would say “groups with no rights”. Leaving aside the tales of torture, injustice and killings from past, this recent case of extremism has exposed the truth about how tolerant are we as a society. The story of Tariq Khokar who paid the price for being a Christian or a Pakistani is an eyeopener for those who can still rise above these prejudices. What we are waiting for, is the question we need to ask ourselves before it is too late.
Following is the statement from the Pakistan Christian Post carried by Asian Human Rights Commission.
PAKISTAN: She cries again and utters her agony “Maybe I am Christian and it’s my fate in Pakistan”
Karachi, June 21: Her husband was Head Constable in Karachi Police and she was living peacefully enjoying life with her three children. She used to attend Sunday Services in local Church at Manzoor Colony Karachi with her husband Tariq Khokhar offering special prayers for everlasting happiness of her family. She was very happy when her husband Tariq Khokar was appointed Special Investigating Unit of Karachi Police where arrested terrorists are investigated.
After appointment in Special Unit, Tariq Khokar used to tell her wife that he receives many threat and hate calls from unknown people. I told his wife that callers say him “You infidel leave this Unit of Investigation and make transfer to any other police department”
She was praying more for her husband and sometime compelling him to leave Police job and join any other job but her husband always assured her that “All is fine, I am also driver of Superintendent of Police of his unit and nothing will happen to him”
On April 24, 2010, she receives call from Jinnah Hospital Karachi from a policeman that that dead body of Tariq Khokhar is in hospital and she shall come for identification. She falls unconscious on receiving call of death of husband but her brother brings her to conscious and asks her to take care of children while he goes to hospital for confirmation of news. She sits on floor of her two rooms house taking her three children in her lap and prays to Lord that this news may be wrong. She visualizes from her tearful eyes when she saw last glimpse of her husband Tariq Khokhar yesterday on April 23, 2010, when he kissed their youngest child before leaving for duty.
Her brother reaches hospital and finds dead body of her brother in law in hospital where other policemen tell him that dead body of Tariq Khokhar was found in a bag in Malir River (Malir NadI). There were multiple bullet wounds on body of Tariq Khokhar as he was kidnapped, tortured and then executed. The killers then put dead body in plastic bag and threw it in river.
The First Information Report FIR was lodged in Ibrahim Hyderi Police Station in district east of Karachi against unknown killers and Tariq Khokhar was buried in Nusrat Bhutto Colony graveyard.
There were condolences messages by administration of Karachi Police to her and many assurances that killers will be arrested and brought before court.
Months have been passed but there is no news of arrest of killers of her husband Tariq Khokhar and she looks very strangely on newspapers which published photos and story of death of her husband.
She is Christian housewife and instead of justice receives calls from unknown people “You wife of infidel, convert to Islam if you want life of yours and your children, unless you all shall be killed”.
She cries aloud and goes in hiding in city of Karachi as it is not a metropolitan city of Pakistan but a Jungle where no rule of law prevails.
She cries again and utter her agony “May be I am Christian and it’s my fate in Pakistan”.