On Easter Monday a terrorist gun-attack by men on motorcycles which took place in the city of Quetta resulted in four members of the same family being killed, whilst on their way to an Easter celebration in a park.
The incident happened at 6:30 pm as the family of Pervaiz Masih (50 yrs), a professional rickshaw driver, were travelling to an Easter family and funfair – a commonly held practice by believers across Pakistan.
This Easter was very special for Parvaiz’s family as his wife Shama had invited her three brothers from Lahore who were visiting Quetta for the first time ever. Emanuel Masih along with his wife Firdous Emanuel and three children, along with brothers Imran Younis and Tariq Younis who were both bachelors, all were united with Pervaiz and his family in celebrating Easter and their exuberant spirits and strong belief meant this was going to be a night filled with joyous revelry.
At the time of the attack Pervaiz Masih was sitting in his rickshaw outside his home, awaiting the entrance of other family members so they could make their way to a community park on Shan Zaman Road. Suddenly two masked men on motorbikes sped into their street and stopped before the rickshaw and aimed some rapid-fire shooting at the Christian family . Pervaiz Masih was hit five times, once in the head, twice on the neck, once on the right arm and once on the stomach he died at the scene of the attack.
Pervaiz Masih’s daughter, Sehar Pervaiz (11 yrs) who was seated with her father in the rickshaw was hit through her right hip by one bullet and survived the harrowing ordeal, she had to be wrenched away from her dead father so she could be taken to the hospital and has been inconsolable since his death.
Firdous and one of her brother-in-laws
Emanuel Masih (55 yrs) a retired Army officer was not hit, but he endured the horror of seeing his wife Firdous Masih (37 years) shot dead right in front of him leaving him a widower and their three young children motherless.
Imran Masih (32 yrs) who had been a painter in Dubai, had just returned to Pakistan after 12 years so he was celebrating and meeting his family to celebrate Easter after a long time apart. His joy was cut short after he died from multiple gunshot wounds along with his brother Tariq Masih (28 yrs) a carpenter. All four victims are believed to have died immediately from multiple gun wounds and their bodies were taken to Civil Hospital Quetta, for investigation.
Shama Pervaiz and her children
Shama Pervaiz, widow of Pervaiz Masih was still reeling from her incredible loss when BPCA officer Pastor Adil met her, she said:
“It is the biggest mistake of my life that I called my brothers to celebrate Easter with us. This incident has changed everything for me. The trauma of the incident is something I will never be able to forget.
“My children are still in fear they believe terrorists are still preying on our family, I cannot bring them any peace.
“I make this request to everyone that they keep my children and I in their prayers because I am very worried about the future well-being of my children. We have lost Pervaiz who provided for us, now we place our trust in God.
“I do not know how I will feed my family or pay for the costs of my children’s’ education now.”
Pervaiz Masih was buried on the 3rd of April in Quetta Christian Cemetery whilst the bodies of the other family members were sent to their home town Garah Qilla Narowal, in Lahore.
The family is demanding justice but since the incident no-one has been arrested or even identified. IS have claimed responsibility for the attack and continue to threaten other churches in the area.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:
“The fact that no-one has been arrested for this terrorist attack is alarming. It sets a bad precedent and will inevitably lead to further similar attacks.
“IS recruitment in Pakistan is growing rapidly and many believe that over half the country are supporters a figure that is set to rise. In the meanwhile as the world watches while these same extremist sympathisers are exporting their terror across the globe.
“If nothing is done to curb the growth of these hate-mongers the impact will no doubt have far-reaching impact. Ignoring the plight of Pakistani Christians in the short-term will have no benefit for anyone the same haters will eventually strike global targets and Muslim communities in Pakistan.
“The Government of Pakistan simply must take action to catch the culprits and use the strictest measures possible to punish them. Moreover western nations must assess their relationship with Pakistan.
“Ignorantly funding an extremist nation without thought of how taxpayers money is being used to foment hatred through a national curriculum that reportedly demonizes and caricatures minorities and people of other faith will erode further perceptions of people of the west, resulting in further attacks in our communities. Many reports suggest that Pakistan is linked to most if not all global terrorist attacks through perpetrators, funding or training this is a poor indictment of a nation said to be a strategic ally in the war against terror.”
BPCA is appealing for funds to assist the victims for the Quetta gun-attacks, which would include this young girl’s ongoing medical expenses and the children involved with educational assistance. To make a contribution please (click here)