Kashif Masih victim of faith

Kashif Bashir s/o Bashir Masih aged 27, resident of village Thatha Faqeer – Ullah, Wazirabad. He approached CTS for life protection along with his brother Griffin Bashir on July 17, 2013 as they were facing death threats by the local Muslim extremists, because the allegation of Blasphemy offence under section 295 B & C of the Pakistan Penal Code, as CTS already knew the severe situation of Kashif Bashir, Griffin Bashir and their family by the priest from local Catholic Church Wazirabad.

The same day on July 17, 2013 CTS team left to the occurrence place for finding the clear facts behind the case. CTS was informed by the local Christians that a blasphemy case FIR was logged by Mohammad Waris, Tajamal Butt and Mohammad Aslam who live in the same locality, in the police station Saddar Wazirabad against Kashif Bashir and Griffin Bashir. They also informed the team about serious life threat to the brothers and their family who also fled for safety to some unknown location.

Kashif Bashir and Griffin Bashir are brothers, Christians by birth and member of Catholic Church village Thatha Faqeer – Ullah, Wazirabad. They get early education at a Christian/mission School (Idara Hazrat Marriam) Wazirabad. Due to the poor situation of their parents they started working somewhere as well as they started their own small business of making fire crackers at home to earn well. In July 2013 they got an order by a local resident namely Tajamal Butt and Mohammad Waris for fire crackers which they needed for a wedding ceremony. They bought the stuff and later Kashif and his brother went to visit their Aunt in the nearer village Ali Nagar. In the evening Kashif Bashir was informed by Tajamal Butt through a phone call aggressively that he made the fire crackers with the papers of Quran. He said that the crackers were not working properly and to check the fault they opened them and found some Quranic papers inside. Tajamal Butt started abusing and threatening Kashif Bashir for severe consequences on the phone call, and said that he has committed blasphemy.

Kashif Bashir becomes scared, although they were innocent and they didn’t commit blasphemy, but they were afraid to stay even at their Aunt’s home. Very next day, on July 17, 2013 Kashif’s maternal uncle Rehmat contacted CTS for the safe accommodation of Kashif Bashir and Griffin Bashir at CTS shelter because it was hard time for them by the Muslims fanatics and the local police as they were afraid of arrest. Kashif and his brother lived at CTS shelter hardly a week, and later Kashif went to Karachi to his relatives because he was scared and was feeling danger as Lahore was not far away from Wazirabad, he was tense and mentally upset because of the previous cases and incidents when the blasphemy accused were killed by the extremist’s mob even in the police custody while in the police station. He was afraid from the mob trial and mob justice who kill the blasphemy victim at the spot and they are not punished for killing people, but his brother Griffin remained staying at CTS shelter. Soon after that the relatives in Karachi requested Kashif to leave their place because they were afraid to get in any trouble too.

It became a serious problem for Kashif as he did not have any place to go, therefore, his maternal uncle Rehamat Masih managed an agent for his fly to Iran on 22nd July, 2013. Later he moved to Turkey and Turkey to Greece and stayed there for two years in a very miserable situation. In 2015, Griffin Bashir also traveled to Greece through an agent and then the both brothers traveled to France.

The year 2013 was one of the worst years for the Pakistani Christians, the constant fear of persecution and rampant Economic and Religious Discrimination in Majority Sunni Muslim Pakistan. Many International and Local Organizations reported that 2013 was the worst year for the Religious Minorities in Pakistan. Numbers of people like Sawan Masih, Geroge Naz, Shafqat Emmanuel, Shagufta Kausar, Asif Pervaiz, Adnan Masih, Kashif Bashir and Griffin Bashir from Wazirabad and two other Christian brothers from Wazirabad Tariq Yousaf and Arif Yousaf were booked in the same case under the Controversial blasphemy law. Dozens of Churches and Hundreds of houses were burnt by the Extremists Muslims were as in March, Christian colony was burnt in Badami Bagh Lahore, in September All Saints Church in Peshawar was hit by two suicide bombers; almost 130 people lost their lives in the church attack.

Blasphemy is a sensitive topic in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, where 97 percent of the population is Muslim. Controversial blasphemy law which was amended from section 295 to 295 A-B-C and promoted by the Islamic military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq has made life for Christians more difficult in Pakistan.

The situation of religious minorities is worse in Pakistan. 4 Christians are booked under blasphemy allegations for unlimited period. Kashif Bashir and his brother Griffim Bashir are wanted in Pakistan not only by the Militant Islamic groups but also to the police to arrest them in the registered. It is sad to share that their parents still hiding and cannot return to home for long time even they do not have a place of permanent stay as they have been inquired in this case for several times.