An essay donated by Yaqoob Khan Bangash
"Man-made Earthquake in Sangla Hill"
Man-made Earthquake in Sangla Hill
2005-NOV-12 was truly a day when the earth shook in Sangla Hill. On that ominous
day, three churches, two houses of priests, one convent, one high school and the
houses of three Christian families were set alight by a charged Muslim mob of
around 2,500 people which spared little in all of these places. Another seven
Christian houses were also attacked and damaged. Under threat from the mob were
the lives of the local parish priest, seven nuns, twenty four children of the
convent, a driver and a catechist and his family. Miraculously, the throng was
not able to locate or break into the tiny room these people were sheltering in
or a huge catastrophe would have been in the offing. Weeks later still one can
see charred buildings, bewildered people and a lot of insecurity in the
Christian population of Sangla Hill, whose main concern is now only a sense of
security, something which the local administration completely failed to deliver.
The tehsil of Sangla Hill is situated in the newly created district of Nankana
Sahib and lies 130 km [78 miles] from the provincial capital of Lahore. The area has a
population of 150,000 with around 12,000 of the population being Christian.
Among the Christians, the Catholic component comprises the over whelming
majority, while the rest belong to various protestant denominations.
2) The Incident
The events of November 12, 2005 in Sangla Hill took place because of an alleged
desecration of the Qur'an, the Muslim holy book, by an illiterate Christian man
by the name of Yousaf Masih who is forty years old. Talking with Yousaf's
brother, Benedict Masih, the whole story of the incident was recounted as below.
Youaf Masih had a very bad habit of indulging in gambling with locals and would
often play with a number of his friends, both Christian and Muslim, in the
nearby parks. On November 11, 2005 he was, as was his custom, gambling with his
friends Lazar Masih and Kalu Suniyara in the Company Bagh and in the course of
the game won two thousand rupees and four thousand rupees from each
respectively. After some time, Yousaf wanted to just get his money and walk
away, but Kalu insisted that he play more. So after another round of gambling
Yousaf finally decided to leave, but not without a quarrel with Kalu over the
money. Yousaf would have only walked a couple of minutes when in the midst of
the main bazaar of the town, Kalu confronted him and accused him of setting fire
to the Qur'an Mahal (which used to house discarded papers and texts with verses
of the Qur'an written on them) which was adjacent to the Company Bagh where they
were gambling. As it was a main thoroughfare many people soon gathered around to
watch Kalu quarrel with Yousaf over the alleged desecration. In reply, Yousaf
swore that he had not done any such thing and that Kalu was unnecessarily trying
to implicate him in a crime that could potentially carry serious consequences.
After a few minutes arguing with the gathered people, Yousaf was able to
convince them that he could not, under any circumstances, do such a crime and so
was able to leave with the assurance that everything had been settled. Then
after going back to his house he shortly left for Manawala, to the house of his
relatives, as he had to go to the main marketplace in Sheikhupura in the morning
Back in Sangla Hill, Kalu was not prepared to see the issue subside and soon
after he again raised a hue and cry in the main marketplace, attracting a lot of
people who then all went to the police station and launched an FIR (First
Information Report) number 148/05 against Yousaf Masih for desecrating the Qur'an
Mahal. It is to be noted here that under the amended procedural laws of Section
295-B no ordinary police officer except the District Police Officer can register
a case of Blasphemy for either the Muslim Holy Prophet or the Qur'an. However,
this procedural rule was simply ignored and a case registered against Yousaf
As a result of the FIR the police, together with a person named Zulifqar and
Kalu, raided Yousaf's house. Without showing any warrant or charges the police
just entered the house and harassed Yousaf's family. They also woke up his
younger brother, Salim, and took him with them without any explanation.
Thereafter, people started to hear announcements from nearly every mosque
loudspeaker informing every Muslim that a Christian had desecrated the Qur'an and
that because of that Christian houses should be burnt and every visible
Christian should be killed. Local leaders also approached many Christian houses,
especially those of Yousaf's relatives asking them to leave the area before
things got worse. As a result, almost four hundred Christian families in Sangla
Hill ran way to safe places.
In the meantime, Yousaf's brothers contacted the Deputy Superintendent of Police
(DSP) and the Station House Officer (SHO) concerning the incident. Both of them
told his brothers that nothing will happen to them or the other Christians of
the area if Yousaf surrendered. Then Yousaf's brother Humayun offered to take
the police with him to places where he thought Yousaf might have gone, as it was
unknown to him that he had gone to Manawala. But after a few failed attempts of
locating Yousaf, the SHO Malik Ashraf started to torture Humayun and Salim,
Yousafs' brothers, relentlessly.
After finding out that Yousaf had gone to the market in Sheikhupura, his
brothers went there early in the morning and confronted him about the whole
incident. According to his brother, Benedict, Yousaf was flabbergasted that the
incident had taken such an extreme form and said that he had thought that it had
ended when Kalu had confronted him in the main marketplace and everything had
been cleared up. However, he agreed to go back and surrender himself to the
police so that his statement could be taken. Therefore, from the Sheikhupura
market his brothers called up Haroon Fateh Jang and Sultan, both Advocates, who
in turn called the SHO to inform him that Yousaf was ready to surrender and also
told the SHO of his exact whereabouts. Benedict recounted that Yousaf himself
identified himself when the police car came and handed himself over. Benedict
also discounts the rumor that Yousaf had run away saying that Haroon Fateh Jang
even called the SHO after the surrender to reconfirm that Yousaf was in police
Afterwards Benedict called up his home in Sangla Hill and heard what had
happened that morning relating to the mob action on Christian sites. Then he
said he called up the Parish Priest Fr. Samson Dilawar who asked him to come
back immediately, which he did.
3) Statement of Fr. Samson Dilawar, Parish Priest, Holy Spirit Church Sangla
The parish of Sangla Hill, a mission station since 1911, was erected in 1914 out
of the Mariamabad parish territory. Even in 1937 there were around four thousand
Catholics in the parish, which has now increased to around 1800 families. The
parish comprises of 184 villages, many of which have small chapels, while the
main parish church of the Holy Spirit was constructed and blessed in April 1951.
The church was then reconstructed and expanded in 1992 to cater to the growing
Catholic population of the area. The parish team comprises of Fr. Samson Dilawar
and six catechists.
Fr. Samson, who had been appointed the parish priest around six months ago,
stated that the Christian-Muslim relations in the Sangla Hill area before the
incident were mostly cordial. He said that there were no major rifts between the
two communities and the inter-faith relationship was more or less harmonious.
However, he did mention that on May 9, 2005 in the village of Sathiali Kalan,
some twenty kilometers [12 miles] from the parish house, a group of Muslims did set a small
chapel on fire. This, he said was due to local enmities between Muslims and
Christians and did not spread further. Still he noticed that the government did
not help the Christians in this case and very unjustifiably arrested five
Christians, but no Muslim involved in the attack on the chapel. Even now, he
lamented, those five are still languishing in jail without any trial.
In the evening on November 11, 2005 the sisters from the convent adjoining the
parish house called Fr. Samson on his mobile phone as he was on his way back to
Sangla Hill from Lahore asking him not to return as there were some protests in
the area against Christians. Despite the call, Fr. Samson, eager to get to know
the real reasons behind the unrest, returned to his parish house around 6pm.
When he came back he became aware that some locals had accused Yousaf Masih, a
parishioner, of setting fire to some old copies of the Qur'an and that the whole
protest was aimed at Yousaf. Fr. Samson then also heard an announcement from a
nearby mosque asking people to gather in the mosque to discuss the desecration
of the Qur'an. Soon after the announcement a mob of hundreds of Muslims
approached the main gate of the church raising slogans against Christians. But
apparently someone stopped the crowd and they went back. Immediately, Fr. Samson
called up the police SHO and the Christian MNA Akram Gill, who in turn called
the District Police Officer, to apprise them of the developing situation. All
authorities assured him that nothing will happen to him or the church, and that
he should rest assured that the authorities will handle the situation. He
appealed time and again for police security for the church, convent and school,
but the pleas fell on deaf ears.
Nothing again happened the night of Friday, November 11, but as soon as the day
broke on November 12, 2005, Fr. Samson said that he heard the same announcements
from the mosque's asking people to gather for discussion. This time however, he
noticed, Mohammad Azim, the City Nazim (Mayor) was leading the crowd. Shortly
thereafter, he said with tears in his eyes, a mob of around 2500 people holding
sticks, stones, big hammers and bottles of chemicals attacked the church
compound. They were raising cries of 'Allah hu Akbar' (God is great) and 'Isaee
kuttay hai hai' (Down with the Christian dogs). He said that as soon as he saw
the crowd break the front door he, together with his driver and catechist, ran
to the adjacent convent where he asked the nuns to gather all the hostel
children as soon as possible. He then locked all of them in a secure room on the
first floor and himself went on the roof top to observe.
His eyewitness account of the arson is telling of the planning and coordination
of the attack. He said that it seemed that the crowd had been divided into
groups with the first one immediately attacking the church while the other one
focused on the parish house and a third attacked the school and hostel from the
other side. The mob completely destroyed all the furnishings of the church,
broke all its stained glass windows and doors, desecrated the Tabernacle and
took away the chalice and ciborium. They also set fire to the Bible inside the
church and burnt the Altar cloth. The treatment meted out to the parish house
was even worse as the mob, after destroying almost everything inside the house,
set it ablaze with the help of special chemicals they had brought with
themselves. Fr. Samson said that he was very sure that these people were well
trained in arson as the chemicals used were not readily available over the
counter and their use was not very easy. Inside the parish house, the mob not
only destroyed all the furniture, but also burnt old records of the church
mission which dated back to 1911 together with Fr. Samson's laptop computer,
television, sound system, split system air conditioner, a personal library
collection, personal and church money, an audio projector that he had obtained
on loan, and basically everything he owned. Fr. Samson also noticed that the
crowd did see him on the roof top but did not react.
As soon as the mob torched the parish house they then, according to Fr. Samson,
moved towards the convent, while a section went towards St. Anthony's High
School. At this juncture, Fr. Samson went downstairs and also locked himself in
with the nuns and hostel children. Soon noise of the mob breaking and burning
the convent's possessions reached his ears, with the ever increasing fear that
the mob might find them and then unleash some other form of terror. This fear
was soon realized when some people tried to break the door of the room in which
Fr. Samson, the nuns, and the hostel children were hiding. Fortunately, the door
turned out to be quite strong and the attackers left without getting it open.
After all the attackers had left, Fr. Samson said that they only left the room
when the police arrived to rescue them. But by that time the whole parish house
was in flames, the church and school had been destroyed and the convent had been
severely damaged. In this scenario, Fr. Samson insisted that the nuns and hostel
children be escorted by the police to Mariamabad Parish, some twenty five
kilometers [15 miles] away, for safety while he would remain behind to assess the
Since the incident, Fr. Samson has been trying to salvage whatever he can from
the ruins of his once thriving parish compound. He is also very disappointed
with the local administration which not only turned a deaf ear to his appeals
well before the incident, but which were, according to him, also complicit in
the attack. He categorically also denounced the attitude of the local police,
which not only failed to come to their rescue, but which did not even adequately
help him in the immediate aftermath of the arson attack.
4) Testimony of Sr. Nasreen Emmanuel FTL, incharge of student hostel
According to Sr. Nasreen, on the eve of the arson incident there were around
twenty four students in the hostel, twenty one girls and three boys, out of a
total hostel strength of fifty eight. She said that she became apprised of the
situation when a crowd approached the parish compound door around 9pm on
November 11, chanting cries of 'Allah hu Akbar' (God is great) and 'Isaee Kuttay'
(Christians are dogs). She said that she was very perplexed by the crowd and was
only a little relieved when they left shortly thereafter. Then around 11pm Fr.
Samson called her and advised her to move to the convent with the children as an
alleged desecration of the Qur'an had taken place in the area and as such they
should be careful about their safety.
On the morning of Saturday November 12, 2005 as Sr. Nasreen was having breakfast
with the other nuns and children, she again heard cries of anti-Christian
slogans from near the parish compound. She was alarmed when she saw some of the
people break the main door and enter the church area. Lots of people in the
crowd were, according to her, carrying long sticks, hammers, stones and
chemicals. She also noted that the mob was sub divided into three groups with
one attacking the church, the other the parish house, while the third one
attacked the hostel and school from the other side by tearing down a 150 feet
long boundary wall.
Terrified for the safety of the children Sr. Nasreen, together with other nuns
and the catechist then hid in a room on the first floor of the convent. She said
that she could hear window glasses breaking, doors being broken down, and could
smell the burning of cloth. Soon she noted people were also trying to break the
door of the room in which they were hiding, which petrified the nuns and
children. Miraculously, the door did not break and the mob left after ransacking
and destroying most of the convent.
After the mob had left, according to Sr. Nasreen, some man, who a few recognised
as the father of children attending St. Anthony's School, brought the police to
the room where she and the others had hid. After confirming their identity she
opened the door, but was alarmed and a bit confused when the person who had come
with the police said to her that, 'think of this as something like what happened
in Kashmir.' She said that she was quite puzzled at even the attitude of the
person who came to rescue them, as even he did not seem to really sympathize
with the nuns or the children. Also, only around five police constables, and no
high official, had come to their rescue after the incident. Then finally when a
good contingent of the police came, she took all the children with a few other
nuns and left for the relative safety of Mariamabad under police escort. She
also noted that the previous night the surrounding settlements were also cleared
of Christians by intimidation so that they could not come to help the nuns.
The damage inflicted on the hostel building was also immense, as estimated by
Sr. Nasreen. Nearly all the furniture of the hostel, beds, quilts, sheets,
clothes of the students, tables and chairs were either broken or set on fire.
Numerous windows and doors were also broken, and more than two tons of wheat
which had been collected by the nuns in a hostel room for use in the kitchen was
also set on fire.
5) Statement of Sr. Bernarda, incharge of the Convent.
Sr. Bernarda said that the mob also caused a lot of destruction in the convent,
though luckily the convent was spared from being set ablaze for that not only
would have destroyed the whole structure but would have also threatened the
lives of the seven nuns, twenty four hostel children, three teachers, a
catechist, a driver and Fr. Samson who had been taking refuge in a room on the
According to Sr. Bernarda, the chapel of the convent seemed to be the main
target of the mob after they entered after breaking a couple of the side windows
through which a few people came in and then opened the main doors. In the
chapel, the Altar and Tabernacle were destroyed. The statute of St. Francis of
Assisi was completely destroyed, while that of Our Lady was disfigured. The
cross of the chapel was also twisted and the chalice and ciborium were taken
The attackers also ransacked the room where the nuns used to keep priestly
vestments and Altar cloths, taking them outside and burning them. They also
entered a few other rooms on the ground floor and took out as much of the
furniture as they could and set it ablaze, she noted.
6) Statement of Sr. Anthony FTL, Principal St. Anthony's High School
St. Anthony's High School Sangla Hill, one of the pre-eminent institutions of
the district was established with an Urdu-medium elementary school in 1954 by
Fr. Vincent Evens OFM Cap. The school is now English-medium up to the
elementary section, and Urdu-medium in the higher sections. In 1964 the school,
which was opened as St. Paul's Elementary School, was upgraded to a high school
and the first class graduated in 1969. The school is coeducational in the
elementary section but girls only in the higher sections. Over the years, more
than a thousand girls have graduated from the school with many of its former
students rising to high places in different fields. Currently there are a total
of 415 students in the school, a majority of them being Muslim.
Sr. Anthony had been principal of this school for the last nine years and had
devoted long hours of work and effort for the betterment of the local community,
with most of the beneficiaries being Muslim. She said that very recently a
number of the school's classrooms had been reconstructed and that the science
lab too had just been restocked with materials costing over five hundred and
twenty five thousand rupees.
With a shaking voice the bereaved principal said that she was shocked and broken
when she saw the destruction the mob had perpetrated on the morning of November
12, 2005. She said that on the eve of November 11, she did not hear about the
incident involving Yousaf Masih and the desecration of the Qur'an until the crowd
gathered in front of the main gate around 9pm. Then, she said, Fr. Samson called
around 11pm and advised her to be very vigilant during the night and take extra
care in the morning. In the morning, she noted, when she went to the school no
one had come to school and it held a deserted look. It was only later that she
got to know that there had been announcements from mosque loudspeakers that
children should not go to school in the morning. This she took as clear signs of
a pre planned attack.
Loud anti-Christian slogans again terrified Sr. Anthony at around 10:30am when
she could again hear a mob coming towards the parish main gate. Soon Fr. Samson
arrived and asked them to evacuate to the first floor where he locked them
inside a safe room. Then, she said, they just stayed put whilst all the time
praying, till the perpetrators left around an hour and a half later. According
to her, the mob did not leave anything whole in the school. If they could not
burn the things with the chemicals they had brought, they mutilated them beyond
recognition. Almost all chairs, benches, and fans in the classes were burnt. All
the office record was also destroyed, and the main hall was also set on fire.
The mob had also broken the school door and had lit up a bonfire of school
materials in the main play groundnot even the ceiling fans were spared. She
also noted that in destroying the textbooks in the school, the attackers did not
even spare their own religious books as several copies of Islamic textbooks
were still lying on the ground burnt to ashes by people of the same religion.
The dreadful incident has completely broken Sr. Anthony. However, she says that
she will not give up and resolves to resurrect the school from the ashes as soon
7) Events at Tariqabad Colony
Tariqabad Colony, commonly called 'Machar' colony, is only a couple of
kilometers away [a little over a mile] from the parish church of the Holy Spirit. Around fifty
Christian families reside in the vicinity of the colony including that of Yousaf
Masih. According to Miss Zulifqar, who is a local Christian resident, on the eve
of November 11, there were announcements from the local mosque, Jamaat Ali
Mansuri, calling all Muslims to come out and protest the alleged desecration of
the Qur'an. She said that almost immediately all the men of the area, which is
mostly inhabited by the caste of Balochs gathered and took out a procession
against the Christians. They were calling for the killing of all Christians, the
burning of their houses and for them to be kicked out of the area, she said. A
women procession abusing and throwing stones at the Christian residents soon
followed the men's procession.
Miss Zulifqar recalled that on the morning of November 12, 2005 around a 3,000
strong mob, composed mostly of locals, but also including lots of outsiders,
attacked the Christians of the area. She said that the previous night almost all
of the Christian residents of Tariqabad had left for fear of retaliation and
only her household and a few others stayed behind. She said that as soon as she
heard the chanting of anti-Christian slogans by the mob she climbed to her roof
to see what was happening.
What she saw sent a cold shiver down her spine as she could see the mob move
towards the local small chapel which was very near her house. The chapel had
been there for almost ten years and had served the needs of the local Catholic
community well, together with being a source of pride for the local Christians
as it was erected completely with their own resources. She said that a crowd
armed with sticks, hammers and chemicals attacked the chapel breaking down all
of its walls as well as most of its main structure. She noted that the mob
destroyed the chapel's fans, sound speakers, and furnishings. They also took
away the collection box and set the Altar cloth on fire together with
desecrating and burning the Holy Bible. Very revealing was the fact that when
the mob ran out of the chemical they were using for igniting the fire, the
neighbor, Shabbir Jat gave them kerosene oil and wood to burn the chapel.
Shabbir Jat has still not been arrested and continues to live in his house.
Another local resident, Nudiya Hafeez, said that she heard some people in the
mob also insult Jesus Christ. She said that they were saying 'Where is your
Risen Jesus? Why doesn't he come to help you? He should come and save you now,
if he is alive!' Miss Zulifqar also noted that the crowd, which was under the
leadership of her Baloch neighbours wanted to next target her house. However,
the police finally did appear on the scene and chased the remaining people away.
Yousaf Masih's house was also set ablaze using sulphuric acid, a very corrosive
chemical, with all his belongings inside. The fire was so strong that even the
iron linters have been destroyed. Almost all the walls of the house have also
been demolished and it really now looks like an old ruin. According to Yousaf's
brother, Benedict, Yousaf's wife and four children, two girls and two boys are
still unaccounted for. Benedict hopes that they also fled the night before, but
at the moment nothing is known about their whereabouts.
Maqsood and Shamim's house was also torched. They had recently just moved to
Okara on account of Maqsood's work in the army. Shamim said that she heard from
friends what had happened, but by the time she returned her house was completely
in ruins. As her house was right next to Yousaf's house it too bore the brunt of
the carnage, with almost nothing left. Both Maqsood and Shamim are now lamenting
the loss of everything they had.
Nadeem Sohail's house was also torched during the events of November 12, 2005.
Nadeem who has married recently, lost among other valuables around Rs. 170,000
in cash [US $3,700] and around 45 grams of gold jewelry. He also recounted that the night
before, Friday, November 11, even the police had advised them to leave the area
as they could not guarantee their security. As a result, Nadeem and his whole
extended family left as they were during the night for the house of a nearby
8) Torching of the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan church and pastor's house
The Presbyterian Church had been working in the Sangla Hill area since 1892 and
the current church had been expanded and reconstructed around twenty years ago.
About eighty families worshipped in this church, which was very near the center
of the town.
According to the local pastor, Rev. Tajammal Pervaiz, he too heard the
announcements from the local mosques and then called thee SHO for protection,
which the SHO promised to give. However, soon around 9pm a procession of
thousands of people came to the church chanting anti-Christian slogans and
throwing stones on the church. This event vexed the pastor who again called up
the local SHO and informed him of the situation. But the SHO reassured the
pastor that everything was under control and then only sent four policemen at
around 11pm, armed with sticks only, to protect the church.
On the morning of November 12, 2005 Advocate Haroon Fateh Jang called up Rev.
Tajammal around 9am and told him that a huge mob was going to attack his church
and house imminently. Without thinking any further Rev. Tajammal picked up his
mother, wife and four children and left the house at 9:30 AM amidst people
thronging to mosques to plan for the attack. Then around 10am a three thousand
strong mob came and completely gutted the church as well as the pastor house,
while the police constables fled the scene.
The damage to the Presbyterian Church has been immense. The whole church
structure was set on fire with chemicals, so that nothing could be spared inside
the church. All the two hundred sacred copies of the Bible, one hundred and
fifty copies religious hymn and psalm books, the Holy Communion chalices, the
cross, two pulpits, a number of carpets, and around twenty benches were
desecrated and burnt. Nothing now remains in the church which now just boasts an
empty charred building. Most of the pastor house walls were also broken, and
then it too was set on fire using chemicals. Rev. Tajammal reported that he had
lost around Rs. 80,000 [US $1,730] of personal funds as well as Rs. 13,000 [US
$280] of church funds,
together with nearly 60 grams of gold jewelry belonging to his wife. He also
lost a personal library collection, with lots of old religious books plus all
the church records, which dated back more than a century. Basically his whole
housedrawing room, bedrooms, closetseverything was destroyed in the fire. He
only had enough time to flee with his family with only the clothes on his back.
The events of Sangla Hill are an eye opener for not only the Christian community
of Pakistan but also for the world at large. It exhibits the high degree of
intolerance and fanaticism present in this small backwaters town of Pakistan,
focused against a harmless community that had spent most of its energy serving
the local Muslim majority community, especially in the field of education. This
incident speaks volumes of the mindset of the locals people, who after years,
even decades, of living side by side with Christians turned on them in an
instant and destroyed their whole lives.
The vile attacks of Sangla Hill also exhibit the complicity of the local
administration and police in the whole scenario. Not only did the local City
Mayor, Malik Mohammad Azim, lead the mob to the Churches, he and others in the
local government were also the main instigators of the crime. Also, the local
police completely failed to safeguard the life and property of the Christian
churches in Sangla Hill even after repeated assurances to the contrary. The
suspension of the DPO and SHO of the area by the Chief Minister are a testament
of their inefficiency and lack of concern for the Christian community.
With only eighty eight of the thousands of perpetrators held, and with many
instigators still out in the open, and with the churches still in ruins, the
Christians of Sangla Hill are still awaiting justice and equity to be delivered
Of the approximately 150 million people who live in Pakistan, less that 3%
are Christian. The country has a law which can result in the death penalty for
anyone found guilty of blasphemy against the Qur'an or the Prophet Muhammad.
This has resulted in some fraudulent charges against non-Muslims that have
arisen as a result of personal disputes unrelated to religion.
In the aftermath of the tragedy:
||Eighty-eight Muslims have been arrested.
||An official of the Nankana district police has been suspended for
failing in his duties.
||Prime Minister of Punjab, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi announced the opening
of a judicial inquiry into the Sangla Hill incident.
||Members of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) have
visited Sangla Hill and will be submitting proposals to the government.
||Rev. Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, visited Pakistan on 2005-NOV-27. He expressed
concern over the destruction of Christian property.
||Bishop Alexander John Malik, the Moderator of the Church of Pakistan and Bishop of Lahore, has called on Muslim Ulema
to build interfaith harmony.
||The National Commission for Justice and Peace has called for consultations on religious tolerance.
For more information on the Sangla Hill tragedy, see:
||"Terrified Christians in Pakistan amid calls for execution," at:
||Qaiser Felix, "Judicial inquiry into Sangla Hill anti-Christian
attacks," AsiaNews, 2005-DEC-11, at:
||"Christians testify in inquiry into Sangla Hill attacks," AsiaNews, 2005-NOV-28, at:
||"PAKISTAN: Tension still simmering in Sangla Hill over alleged Quran
desecration, AHRC warns," Press release, Asian Human Rights Commission,
||National Council of churches and leaders of four denominations, "Joint
Statement from Church Leaders," 2005-NOV-14, at:
Originally posted: 2005-DEC-11
Latest update: 2005-DEC-11
Author: Yaqoob Khan Bangash