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Punjab govt’s Jaranwala report should be thrown into dustbin: CJ Qazi

ISLAMABAD (PEN) : The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) Tuesday rejected the Punjab government’s report on the Jaranwala communal violence that led to the vandalism of churches.   

SCP Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faez Isa heard the case and remarked that he was disappointed that he just wanted to throw the report into a dustbin.

“I am feeling ashamed that only 18 challans were submitted in the case in the last six months,” he said and sought a new report in 10 days otherwise relevant administration and Police personnel would be suspended.

The CJ remarked: “We keep raising hue and cry over ‘Islamophobia’ wherever we go in the world. But what are we doing here in Pakistan? Have we ever thought about that? Do we want to follow in the footsteps of India where minorities are not safe?”

Additional Advocate General (AAG) Punjab apprised the court that the incident had taken place on August 16, 2023. “Since then 22 cases have been registered and 304 people have been taken into custody,” he apprised the court.

The CJP asked at what time the first church had been burnt and at what are the timings of Fajr prayers in August. SP Investigation Faisalabad told him that the pages of the holy Quran were desecrated at 5:15 AM.

On August 16, a charged crowd vandalized several churches and set fire to scores of houses in Jaranwala, a town close to Faisalabad, after clerics allegedly asked the mob to attack the Christian community for desecrating the holy book.