But James Rehmat, a Christian worker, openly accuses the PML-N government of actually patronising the mob. “Some top leaders of the N-League, including Malik Riaz (local MNA) led the procession. On Friday night, another local PML-N leader came and had banners put up against blasphemy,” he points upwards to freshly put up cloth banners saying ‘The penalty of blasphemy is only beheading’.
“But we don’t see any politicians or other higher ups in this area after this incident although a whole day has passed by. How is it that all these incidents against us happened during the Shahbaz-Nawaz government?”
This relays a reaction to the angry victims and they suddenly break out chanting slogans against the government, women beating their chests in anguish.
Bishop Akram Gill, of the Emmanuel Church also stands and makes an official complaint against the Sharif-led Punjab government. “The Shantinagar and Gojra incidents too happened during the Sharifs’ rule. How is it that when they are not in power, we tend to live more peacefully? The time has come that Christians must ask themselves:
Can we live in Pakistan any longer? We request the UNO to give us refuge because we cannot find any justice in this country.”
Though Akram Gill thanks the police for controlling the situation, Sohail Johnson from the Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan has to stop himself from swearing at the police authorities. “They are lying!” he shouts. “They have done nothing to save us. They stood on one side while our Bible was burnt. Their excuse was there were too many terrorist outfits present and that the police was weak.”
Meanwhile many are of the opinion that the whole scenario was a game plan by the nearby iron factory owners who they believe are patronised by a powerful ruling family member. The attackers, they say, were factory workers, and the agenda was to grab the land the Christians had their houses on. And when Saawan had already been arrested why was their need of violence?