Â The Myth of Islamic tolerance, exposes itself:
Javed Aziz Khan
PESHAWAR: Members of Christian and Hindu communities settled in the city have been threatened by the so-called militants through a stunning letter to convert to Islam or face suicide attacks, sources confided to The News here on Wednesday.
The intimidation sent the alarm bells ringing at the headquarters of law-enforcement agencies as well as among the senior government functionaries.
The threats, according to reliable sources, were hurled to the Christian community settled in different parts of Kohati, interior city and cantonment through a number of letters. Similar letters, it is learnt, were also dispatched to the elders of Hindu community scattered in jurisdiction of West Cantonment police station.
“You are invited to embrace Islam and make your home in heaven. If you did not comply, you will be eliminated till Friday August 10,” read a letter dispatched to members of the Christian community in interior city. The dispatchers introduced themselves as members of previously unheard organisation, Al-Jihad. “It is a sensational letter that shows the non-seriousness of the dispatcher or dispatchers. The heading of the letters is ‘knock of the death’ while the rest of the text carried dialogue-like words that are generally used in films,” a senior government official, requesting anonymity, told The News about the letter received by a Hindu community member.
The senior official admitted the matter was in the knowledge of the Frontier Police high-ups who have ordered to further beef up security around the worship places and colonies of minorities in Peshawar.
“The worship places of minorities are being strictly guarded. We have now further beefed up security around these buildings as well as residential colonies where people belonging to minorities are living in a chunk,” a police officer, who also requested not to be mentioned, told The News.
The elders of the Christian community held an emergency meeting in Kohati to discuss the situation. Some participants briefed the rest of the members about the measures being taken by the police for the security of minorities. “Many members expressed satisfaction over the arrangements but also asked for doing more for their security,” sources disclosed.
It is to be mentioned that similar threats were also hurled at the Christian community in Charsadda. Later the police nabbed a young boy who confessed to have written the threatening words on a wall just for fun.
* Gee, really funny, isn’t it?Â
Khar (Bajaur Agency), 8 August (AKI/DAWN) – A nationwide polio vaccination campaign was suspended in the Pakistani tribal area of Bajaur on Tuesday after health workers were detained and beaten up by armed people in the Charmang area, officials said.
Sources said a team sent by the health directorate was administering polio drops to children in the Babara Ziarat village of Charmang near the Afghan border when it came under attack.
The assailants manhandled the health workers and damaged vaccine kits. The health workers later said they had been kept hostage for more than four hours. After the attack, the administration suspended the vaccination campaign in the area for an indefinite period, Cheragh Din, the agency’s surgeon, said.
There has been opposition to the polio vaccination by some people who say that it makes the recipients sterile. A similar campaign was suspended in July last year after opposition from similar sources. A few months ago, an surgeon in the tribal area was killed in a remote village where he had gone to persuade people to get their children vaccinated.
According to reports, health officials have been trying to dispel rumours â€“ sometimes spread by radio stations or from loudspeakers of mosques â€“ that the polio campaign was a western conspiracy to reduce Muslim populations.
Officials from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have said that it is difficult for them to gain access to what they call ‘high-risk’ tribal areas, which include including North Waziristan, Bajaur and Khyber.
Pakistan is one of the only four countries in the world where polio is still endemic.
* Could Islam have something to do with this?Â