Rawalpindi’s Christian community remains on edge following an alarming incident reminiscent of the recent mob violence against Christians in Jaranwala. Residents of a Christian Colony in Rawalpindi hurriedly vacated their homes overnight due to credible fears of a mob attack. The unsettling rumors of a potential assault on Friday, August 25, immediately after Friday prayers, spread like wildfire. In response, a significant number of Christians took the precaution of carrying their valuables with them, deeply concerned for their safety.
Rawalpindi, being the fourth-largest city in Pakistan both in terms of population and strategic importance, is positioned adjacent to Islamabad, the capital. This incident has added to the growing unease in the area.
Disturbing details have emerged, indicating that nearly seventy percent of the Christian residents in Rawalpindi’s Baraf Khana Colony—predominantly a Christian neighborhood—swiftly left their homes. This evacuation appears to be a direct response to the recent episode of mob violence targeting Christians in Jaranwala. The traumatizing event from Jaranwala seems to have spurred the residents of Baraf Khana Colony to seek refuge elsewhere. Reports suggest that the process of vacating the neighborhood commenced on Thursday, August 24, with additional Christian residents reportedly departing on Friday morning.
While local authorities have assured the Christian community that they will be provided with foolproof security and safeguarded against any form of mob violence, the fact that many residents still felt compelled to leave their houses casts doubts on the effectiveness of these assurances. Strikingly, there is an absence of visible security personnel deployment in the neighborhood, despite official promises.
The police, however, remain adamant in their urging of the local Christian population to dismiss the rumors of an imminent mob attack. Nonetheless, the parallels between this incident and the distressing events in Jaranwala are difficult to ignore, serving as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by religious minorities in Pakistan.