Being anyone except a Muslim is hard here in Pakistani society, but I do not intend to deny the issues and pain of what Muslim majority suffers from. But the religion factor brings another dimension of problems for those who have been created by same God, but Who has different names. Those who refuse to accept a simple reason of why minorities need special protection in comparison with majority, need to be told that they are the most fragile and prone to attack segments of society.
The story below has not surprized me much for a fair reason that it was not the first incident of this nature or because I am becoming immune to such incidents. Raping and murdering a 12-year old Christian girl by Muslims is what has happened exactly, and all the efforts of different rights organisations proved futile when the family accepted 1 million rupees in return to this newly “bought freedom” of the culprits.
We can all imagine how tough and painful it must be for the parents to forgive the culprits of their daughter, but they did it. Their decision brought disappointment for all those who were behind the struggle of getting justice in this case, but if I try hard to detach myself from their decision, I can very well understand the state of mind they are in and the bitter realities of life they face on day-to-day basis. 1 million can give them good food, shelter and a secure future in monetary terms. Poverty, hunger with a status of minority is too big to fight against for this family who has sacrificed justice and pain of their daughter in this case with this assurance that they will never be hungry again.
I am ashamed of representing the “other side” of society who kill and rape women from other religions because of their weak positions in this society. We need to know about the implementation of all those decisions the President Zardari has taken including establishment of a “direct telephone line”. Is anyone out there to confront those who buy their freedom from the victims after committing such heinous crimes?
Below is the story:
Lubna Masih was a 12-year-old Christian girl raped and murdered by Muslims in Rawalpindi. Despite opposition on the part of human rights campaigners, the family accepted a money settlement, thereby closing the case.
The parents of Lubna Masih, the twelve-year-old Christian girl who was raped and murdered in Rawalpindi by a group of Muslims, accepted a compensation of one million rupees (approximately 11,600 Euros) to abandon the legal proceedings against those responsible for the crime. Her family, still in mourning, is saddened and bewildered.
After a struggle between the Christian organizations that had encouraged the parents to reject any proposed agreement and other envoys and mediators, including several members of Parliament, Saleem and Guddi Masih gave in, accepting the significant cash contribution, which closes the case on a legal status. Saleem, Lubna’s father, said: “I forgive the men who killed my daughter. We’ll start a new life.”
Karman, Saleem’s brother, said “They are upset, but the decision is up to them.” Gudde, devastated by the pain cannot utter a word. Life for All, a Christian-based NGO that has fought against impunity and to raise the issue of violence against Christians, told Fides with regret: “If the parents do not even have the strength to defend the memory of their daughter, nobody can do anything.”
Carrying out the negotiations was the organization “Ephlal Ministry” (“Justice Service”), specializing in civil and legal mediation. The organization will take 20% of the agreed sum. Among the determining factors were the poverty and hardship of the Masih family. Fides sources point out that “the technique of buying the silence of victims is nothing new and is part of the uneven distribution of forces in the field: Christian families are often the last on the social scale and they are forced to confront members of the Muslim upper middle class or wealthy landowners.”
In response to the many cases of violence against Christian girls, last March the President of Pakistan, Ali Zardari, announced the establishment of a “direct telephone line” with a response office, to report the most serious cases of violence against religious minorities. Zardari, in agreement with the minister for religious minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, had also called for the establishment of an international commission to dialogue with the government and address the most urgent issues. The Christian community had welcomed and supported the project, but currently none of these initiatives has yet come to pass.