Date: January 9, 2017
Sardar Mushtaq Gill says he has now been threatened on Facebook by a Muslim who, he says, wants to kill him
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
ASIA (ANS – January 9, 2017) – Sardar Mushtaq Gill, a prominent Christian lawyer, who fled Pakistan last August with his wife and four children, following numerous death threats, is now in danger again with further threats on his life.
In a message sent to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), Gill said from his secret hideout in an un-named country, that on January 4, 2017, he got a threatening message on Facebook “from a Muslim... whose profile shows that he is from Karachi, Pakistan.”
Gill, who has been given the title of “Human Rights Defender” by a prominent human rights organization, and is a law graduate from Lahore Punjab University, Pakistan, said that the threat was written in Roman Urdu, and the man has also managed to get his mobile phone number and Gill has alleged that he said that he would come to where he was staying and “kill him.”
Gill described the man as “another Qadri,” meaning Mumtaz Qadri, a Pakistani policeman and Islamic fundamentalist, who was in the squad of personal bodyguards of Salmaan Taseer, former Governor of Punjab, who on January 4, 2011, had assassinated Taseer for speaking in favor of blasphemy-convicted Asia Bibi and against the infamous blasphemy laws. He was convicted by the Islamabad High Court, sentenced to death and executed.
Gill said that because he also been speaking out for Asia Bibi and against the blasphemy laws, and stated, “Now is my turn to be killed because I used the LEAD Blog to criticize the blasphemy laws and said they were inhumane.” (Gill founded LEAD [Legal Evangelical Association Development] -- http://leadfamily.blogspot.ca/ -- for which he still writes for.
He added that the lives of others in LEAD has been threatened for their human rights activities on behalf of Pakistan’s Christians community.
“Members of this Qadri group has now filed complaint at a police station against me and other members of LEAD under 295-c of the Penal Code [against blasphemy] and under the charges of support and to harbor blasphemy accused women like Martha Bibi and Asia Bibi.” (In 2007, Martha Bibi from Kasur, was accused of blasphemy. It was discovered later that it had been a made-up story simply because her contractors did not want to pay her for the materials they had bought from her. She was fortunate enough to be released, but her accusers never paid their dues and remain free. Asia Bibi, a Christian mother-of-five is on death-row for alleged blasphemy after standing up for Jesus is an argument with her Muslim co-workers. She is appealing her conviction.)
It was on August 8, 2016, when Sardar Mushtaq Gill and his wife and four children, finally fled Pakistan for an un-named country. At the time, he said: “Death threats and attacks by the extremists, have made it extremely difficult for me to carry out human rights work and continually go into hiding for myself and for my family’s survival in Pakistan.”
LEAD, the group Gill set up, was for “the protection and promotion of the right to freedom of religion and belief” in Pakistan, and says on its website, “The main problem in Pakistan is religious intolerance and discrimination which affects religious minorities and creates in them the feelings of insecurity of life and property.”
Because of his high profile, and his free legal work on behalf of the victims of mob violence, forced conversion to Islam, forced marriages and rape victims, he has faced numerous death threats, with shots being fired at his home and attacks at his family members.
Because of this, Mr. Gill and his family, decided in 2013, to go into hiding in Pakistan, meaning and they were not able to reside at a permanent place, and were constantly on the move. He says that he had asked the authorities to provide safety for him and his family, but he claims those requests have been ignored.
Now, he and his family have, themselves, become victims of the intolerance against Christians in Pakistan, something he has doggedly fought against over the past few years.
If you would like to help support Mr. Gill and his family at this critical time, please go to http://leadfamily.blogspot.ca/
Photo captions: 1) Sardar Mushtaq Gill speaking to the Pakistani media before he fled the country. 2) Mumtaz Qadri following his arrest for murder. 3) Asia Bibi with two of her daughters before her arrest. 4) Dan Wooding.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 76, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, Alfred and Anne Wooding, who then worked with the Sudan Interior Mission, now known as SIM. He now lives in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 53 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of the ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS), and is also the author of some 45 books. He also has one weekly radio show and two TV shows all based in Southern California.