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Wednesday, June 19, 2024  
12 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Blaming India for Jaranwala is the easy way out: minority leader

IG Punjab says Muslims actually helped save Christians in Jaranwala

**Inspector General Punjab said on Monday that the Jaranwala incident was orchestrated to divert attention from Manipur. However, Chairman Pakistan Minorities Council Lala Robin said blaming India was the easy way out. **

Speaking in Spotlight with Munizae Jahangir, IG Usman Anwar said that it was easy for the police to simply arrest the two men said to be involved in the Jaranwala incident and look the other way. However, the police had arrested three people and ‘unearthed a network’ through scientific instruments.

He said the Muslims need to keep their emotions cool and said thanked the ulema and Aman committees for their help in resolving the matter.

He also said that it was wrong to blame all Muslims for the incidents since Muslims were involved in saving the Christian community as well.

He said that everything from geo-fencing to facial recognition softwares had been used to make the arrests and if there was any disagreement over the arrests, a joint investigation team was there to clear the matter.

Anwar said that police had to keep in mind that there can be a reaction on blasphemy related incidents across the province in cases like Jaranwala and act accordingly. He said that the police had responded on time and had evacuated the Christian community’s houses.

The IG also said that the events in Jaranwala had been orchestrated to divert attention from the Manipur incident in India. He said that no deaths or sexual assault had been reported in Jaranwala unlike Manipur only because the police responded in time.

He said that if the police had fired on the mob, the fire could have spread to the entire province.

Anwar said that the police had not found any chemical being used to set houses on fire in Jaranwala but burnt plastic and paint had been led to houses being blackened.

He said that police had managed to stop people approaching Jaranwala from the motorway but the 350 police officials available were not enough to block all the internal road. He added that the available officials were put to work on securing the community.

Caretaker Minister for Religious Affairs Aneeq Ahmed said that the police had not shied away from their duty during the violence in Jaranwala and the SP even had sustained burn on his face and arms.

He also said that the scholars had played their role in the whole incident which was very positive.

Peter Jacob, member of the Human Rights Commission, said that much has been said about the small number of police officials available to deal with the with the Jaranwala incident. However, this is the 51st such incident of churches being burnt since 1997. He added that out of these, 22 attacks had been carried out by terrorists and the rest by mobs.

He said mobs have become a technology in Pakistan and certain groups wield it at will. He added that things might go to an extent where people would have to say the houses set themselves on fire.

He said that the investigation should not only be unbiased but should be transparent as well. He added that the efforts were being made to paint the matter as a foreign cospiracy, but how could such large number of consiprators turn up at a designated place.

Aneeq Ahmed replied that the conspirators were ususally few in number but the set off a spark when there is a reaction over incidents of blasphemy.

Chairman Pakistan Minorities Council Lala Robin said that it was easy to blame others for an event like foreign forces are being blamed for the Jaranwala incident. He said that the fact was that there were 180 people involved in the violence, no matter who had istigated them.

He said that a church has infact been defaced on Monday by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan. He said that even the report on mob violence by the assistant commissioner said it had happened as a response to blasphemy. He likened the treatment to ‘glorification’.

Journalist Ahmed Saeed said that CCTV footage clearly showed that the effort from the police had been missing. He said that it was unlikely that there had been no intelligence sharing by the country’s premier intelligence agency.

Lala Robin added that the Aman committees have been dysfunctional for a long time and it has been communicated to the chief minister that they need to be activated. He claimed that the commitees have been stopped from working because they get in the way of bribery in police stations.

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