Terror and tragedy: Murder of a Christian father who fought for the release of his daughter in Pakistan

In Pakistan, we find a tragic story affecting persecuted Christians. Basharat Masih, a Christian father who had tirelessly fought for the release of his 12-year-old daughter, was assassinated. His daughter, named Hoorab, had been kidnapped in December. The Faisalabad court in the Punjab had recently ordered his release. During and after the legal process, Basharat received death threats, according to Asia News reports.

The girl was kidnapped on December 28, 2022 by two merchants, Muhammad Mustafa and Muhammad Usman. The latter converted the girl to Islam with the intention of marrying her in the city of Chiniot. Since February 17, the girl was housed in a shelter for women victims of violence or abuse, known as Dar-ul-Aman. Only in late March was she allowed to return to her family, after expressing her wish to stay with her father during an appearance before the Faisalabad magistracy.

Maryam Bibi, sister of the released girl, filed a complaint at the Nishatabad police station, in which she recounted that on April 24 her brother was participating in a pigeon-flying contest when she heard screams and ran into the street. She discovered that a group of assailants had attacked her father, Basharat, and killed him.

Naveed Walter, president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan, commented that the killing of the Christian father appears to be an act of revenge for bringing those responsible for Hoorab’s abduction to justice. Walter said: “The Hoorab case shows once again that even after a trial, threats against Christians do not stop. Religious minorities, being easy targets, suffer kidnappings, conversions and forced marriages. The perpetrators of the murder of Basharat Masih must be brought to justice”

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