Barnabas Fund, 15 February 2022 (excerpts)
Police in Pakistan have registered a murder case against over 150 Muslims following the death of Christian shopkeeper Pervez Masih on 14 February in Lahore.
The incident happened after a group of Muslims was involved in an altercation the previous evening with Pervez at the games shop he ran. The dispute was apparently settled following the intervention of mainly Christian members of the local community.
The next morning, however, the Muslims went to the shop with guns, clubs and iron bars. One of them hit Pervez with a brick, causing a critical head injury. Pervez, in his late 20s, died in hospital.
Large numbers of police officers have since been sent to the area to calm tensions where Christians are a minority.
Police Superintendent Sukhera said, “We engaged elders of the Christian community and defused the tension.”
A team from the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement, which provides legal aid to Christians, is investigating the killing and helping Pervez’s family following the funeral, held on 15 February.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said his government has “zero tolerance” for those taking the law into their own hands and perpetrators would be dealt with by “the full severity of the law” and action taken against “police who failed in their duty”.