The Supreme Court of Pakistan has postponed hearing the case of Jaranwala incident. The apex court was set to take up the Jaranwala incident hearing on Tuesday, August 22, 2023 however the hearing was postponed, according to apex court sources.
As scheduled a three-member apex court bench, which was to be headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umer Ata Bandial, was to take up the plea. The bench also comprised Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Shahid Waheed. The plea was filed by Samuel Maksan, Chairman, Implementation Minority Rights Forum Lahore. Samuel Maksan had filed a civil miscellaneous application (CMA) in the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan through Chairperson Dr Mehdi Hassan & others verses the Federation of Pakistan. Samuel had prayed to the Supreme Court that the instant CMA might be accepted. In the light of the submitted; he requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take action accordingly. Samuel maintained that it would help justice served.
Pakistani Christian community is still reeling from the horrid turn of events on August 16, 2023 when heart wrenching visuals emerged from Jaranwala, Pakistan where churches and houses of Christians could be seen set ablaze and reduced to nothing. The incident sparked national as well as international outrage, when condemnation poured in urging Pakistani government to deal with the perpetrators with iron fists.
Apparently, alleged accusations of blasphemy sparked the incident. The real motive behind the attack is still unclear, but reports suggest that on Wednesday August 16, two Christian brothers were charged with blasphemy for allegedly desecrating the Quran. The story was disseminated through loudspeakers in mosques and provoking videos were posted on social media inciting Muslims for vengeance. Local Christians had by then fled, anticipating an attack. The properties were left vacant and wide open for the vandals to ransack and set on fire.
It was reported that as many as 5,000 Muslim extremists stormed a predominantly Christian neighbourhood in Jaranwala, where they looted the churches, houses of Christians, their vehicles and businesses. According to rough estimates about 400 houses of Christians were affected or completely damaged by the arson. Twenty-six churches were also desecrated and damaged or set on fire. The assailants used cranes to demolish some churches. Crosses atop the churches were torn down, bibles in the churches were heaped and burnt.
Survivors of the mob violence are left with nothing but heartache and a trail of destruction that the vandals have left behind. Several Christian families are left homeless, without food or clean water to drink. Their means of earning a livelihood have diminished.