Christian Rights Activist Survives Assassination Attempt

Source:  www.bosnewslife.com

Date:  November 27, 2015

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife

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LAHORE, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)-- An activist of an influential Christian advocacy group in Pakistan is recovering of his injuries after he was shot by suspected Islamic militants, activists told BosNewsLife learned.

Aslam Masih, a Christian field coordinator of the Pakistan-based advocacy group Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD), said he sustained two bullets wounds to his left and right leg during the shooting in the Lahore area on October 28.

Details were provided later amid security concerns.

A suspect, identified publicly as Ashfaq, also known as 'Shaka', and three unidentified attackers reportedly arrived in a Jeep vehicle at Masih's home. Shaka allegedly demanded that Masih touched his feet to ask forgiveness for his Christian rights activities.

When Masih refused to do so he reportedly opened fire with a pistol. Believing he was dead they fled the scene, recalled Masih.

ATTACKERS WARNED

The attackers sarcastically "warned and threaten me to call my boss, Sardar Mushtaq Gill, and to ask him to save me", added Masih in comments obtained by BosNewsLife.

Masih was rushed to hospital with leg injuries and survived what LEAD called an "assassination attempt." Police reportedly said it had been unsuccessful in detaining the alleged assailants. This was the second shooting incident aimed at silencing "voices of LEAD on behalf of victims of human rights violations," the group said in a statement.

Earlier this year the brother of LEAD leader Sardar Mushtaq Gill was injured when one bullet hit his lower back in a separate shooting, BosNewsLife reported at the time. Activist Masih said he was shot following several threats. In April 'Shaka' along with four other companions entered a Christian area in Lahore city where they were seen abusing Christians and tearing down "Happy Easter" banners from walls.

The militants allegedly threatened to carry out similar attacks as in Lahore's Youhanabad neighbourhood. where at least 10 people were killed in April when bombings rocked two churches.

Representatives of Pakistan's minority Christians say Islamic extremism is spreading across Pakistan.

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