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Christians pressurised into signing so-called 'peace deal' with Muslim clerics in Lahore


March 24, 2011 - Lahore

Muslim clerics and hardliners, who tried to attack a church in Lahore's landmark Badami Bagh, have agreed to avoid doing so on a condition that the church authorities would suspend its activities, especially at the time when Muslims living in the area offer prayers.

The "peace deal" was reached through the efforts of the Badami Bagh Police Station SHO, who organised a peace committee comprising 14 people- including four Christians and ten Muslims- to settle the matter, The Daily Times reports.

However, local police sources revealed that the peace deal was signed after "posing threats and putting immense pressure on local Christians who simply succumbed to the pressure for being left alive and untouched, hence promising to follow the SHO's and the peace committee's directions".

"It was quite ironic that the same people, who were members of the peace committee, also led mobs against Christians, one of them being a cleric Zubair from Madina Mosque, who called on local Muslims to unite and attack the church over accusations that the church had deliberately burnt papers containing Quranic verses, which were found on a nearby garbage heap on Tuesday morning," they added.

The local people alleged that a Christian in the area kept reciting verses from the Bible while passing through streets, and demanded that he should be barred from doing so in order to 'ensure peace of mind' to Muslim residents of the area.

Meanwhile, Christian representatives in the peace committee told the newspaper that they were very happy with the decision of the committee and local police authorities, as their on-time intervention had avoided a big chaos.

Christians would never want to come into a conflict with their Muslim brothers, as they believed in peace and harmony as per Christ's saying of "putting the second cheek forward if somebody slaps you on the first," they added.

The SHO said that he did not file any cases against the clerics as per the requests of the Christian locals and church leaders, keeping in mind the possibility that such an action could have further instigated the mobs instead of calming them.

He also said that the police was closely monitoring the situation in the area although there were no chances of any riots or violence in the area anymore.

ANI

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