A Pakistani Christian man has died after being shot several times by his neighbour.
Nadeem Joseph and his mother-in-law Elizabeth Masih were brutally attacked shortly after moving into their new home in Peshawar. Despite undergoing several emergency surgeries, Joseph succumbed to his injuries on 29th June.
According to reports, the attackers were Salman Khan and his sons, who lived opposite the Christian family. They were said to have been livid when hearing that Christians had moved into their neighbourhood, and immediately began engaging in daily harassment and threats against the family. On several occasions, Mr Khan demanded that Mr Joseph and his family flee the area, insisting that Christians should not be living in the same area as Muslims.
Since the shooting, Khan has gone into hiding, while others involved in the attack have been arrested. Mr Joseph leaves behind a wife and two sons.
Michelle Chaudhry, President of The Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation (CICF) said: “We strongly condemn this horrific act of violence. Nadeem Joseph was murdered because of his faith. This is not a standalone case, religious minorities in Pakistan face such atrocities on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the bigoted mindset, nurtured over decades is very deeply rooted in our society. This killing is a blatant violation of a right to be human as purchasing a piece of property in any part of the country is every Pakistani’s right.
"The government of Pakistan must ensure safety and protection of all Pakistanis regardless of faith, caste or gender as enshrined in our Constitution. Incidents such as these sends waves of insecurity, which leaves communities feeling extremely vulnerable. Furthermore, accountability and implementation of laws is pivotal in order to curb such incidents from occurring in the future.”
CSW’s chief executive Mervyn Thomas said: “CSW extends its deepest prayers and condolences to the family and loved ones of Mr Joseph. This sad incident illustrates just how vulnerable religious minorities are in Pakistan. Every Pakistani should be able to live safely and securely without fear of his or her neighbour.
"The level of hate and intolerance against religious minorities that has been allowed to fester and take root in Pakistani society is so severe that any one could be subject to an attack because of their faith at any time. We urge the government of Pakistan to take lasting measures to reverse this endemic hatred and intolerance, and to ensure that Mr Khan and all those involved in the killing of Mr Joseph are brought to justice.”