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Pakistani Christian Headteacher told he should be a sweeper as Muslim co-workers beat him !

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Headteacher of Pernawa Village School Mr Azam, with his family. 

 

A Christian headteacher from a village near Kasur, Pakistan, who had been promoted into the position on merit three months earlier, became the victim of a savage attack my Muslim co-workers on the morning of 5th October 2015.   Headteacher Saddique Azam (47 years), a father of six children, has been subjected to abuse and regular disputes over his position, which has still to be ratified by the official education department, a process believed to be delayed as a consequence of the cultural animosity towards Christians and numerous complaints about the appointment of a Christian to the auspices of the  Kasur Education Officer.

The violence erupted after Mr Azam refused to unlawfully enter Muhammed Javed Chaudhry's attendance for a day when he was absent. 

Allegedly this annoyed Mr Chaudhry who became very furious and abusive. Mr Chaudhry left Mr Azam's office but the next day returned with his brother and a another men,  poised to teach Mr Azam a  lesson for this refusal. 

Fuelled with rage over the audacity of a Christian man who dared to challenge his non-attendance at school, Mr Chaudhry along with the two men with him beat Mr Azam with Iron rods and other implements, for daring to discipline a Muslim.  Muhammed Chaudhry said:

“You are a Christian and Choora so how can you be Headmaster and our senior?” they derided Azam as they verbally and physically abused him. They threatened him with more violence unless he listened to their instructions in future. Mr Azam outrightly refused to accept their terms and was subjected to a more frenzied beating.  

The attack took place in front of other teachers and pupils who dismayed and traumatised by the violent attack called the Police to Pernawa village school and came to the rescue of the bruised and bloody headteacher. Police arrested the three men and placed them in a cell.  Mr Azam was taken to Jinnah Hospital in Lahore and the BPCA have copies of the gruesome medical report.   

Despite clear evidence of the attack local police refused to register an FIR against the perpetrators of violence, who were set free after a short time in the local police station cell.  It has been alleged interference of Muslim Member of National Assembly (MNA) Rana Hayat of ruling party Pakistan Muslim League, led to their early release.  We contacted Mr Hayat's office to ask about his involvement but were advised that he was at a wedding.  To add insult to injury the Police and Local MNA allegedly coerced Mr Azam into taking a compromise settlement.

Mr Azam has said that he would like to put this incident behind him and would like to take no further action. 

   

Mr Azam is fortunate to have retained his sight. 

Mr Azam suffered sever damage to his left eye and was admitted for two days. He was informed by doctors that he was extremely fortunate to have retained vision in the affected eye.

Shamim Masih, Officer for the BPCA said:

"This is yet another callous unprovoked attack on a Pakistani Christian man.  Mr Azam has always been a hard working individual and against all the odds in rural, discriminatory Pakistan, has achieved a position he rightly deserved.  This attack has left him and his family demoralised and frightened and even now they are receiving threats for him to retire. Christians in Pakistan are an inferior race."

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA, said:

"This attack and the inappropriate actions of the Pakistani authorities, flount a whole raft of international laws. Yet Pakistan still enjoys a lauded position on the international stage. The quality of life for Pakistani Christians has reached a nadir but global silence, is allowing such brutality to go unnoticed.  This culture of impunity is creating the perfect atmosphere for a cultural genocide of Pak-Christians, that in all honesty may not be that far away."

He added:
 
"Pakistan has become a horrendous place to live as a Christian. It is now regarded as the 8th worst place to live as a Christian within a recent report by independent NGO 'Open Doors.'The persecution faced by Christians in Pakistan in overlooked by nations in the West often because of intrinsic trade agreements or in the case of Britain and America the ally status they ostensibly hold in the war against terror. This has allowed Pakistani politicians cart blanche to enact their whims on suffering minorities. This is a dangerous error in judgement and has now created a melting pot of hatred that has already exported terrorism across the world."


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BRITISH PAKISTANI CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION is a trading name for BRITISH PAKISTANI CHRISTIANS LTD which is a charity entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1163363

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Mr Saddique Azam Headteacher Violent Attack
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