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Pakistan Christians in fear after safety wall is demolished

Banned militant groups tore down wall last month reporter, Karachi

July 10, 2014

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Residents of a Christian neighborhood in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi have called for security provisions after their safety wall was demolished by members of banned militant groups.

Representatives of the minority community residing in Essa Nagri, one of the city's largest Christian neighborhoods, met Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Wednesday to demand security for their colony.

Liaquat Munawar, president of the Mission and Action for Social Services, said that without the security wall, "the Christian community feels vulnerable to an attack".

Essa Nagri, which has about 40,000 Christian residents, is surrounded by migrants from Pakistan's restive tribal region and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

A security wall that protected two churches was torn down last month by Muslim militants. The community built the wall in 2012 after the murder of five Christian youths by members of the Pakistani Taliban and other banned groups, Munawar said.

Meanwhile Associated Press of Pakistan reported that Shah had directed law enforcement to provide "foolproof security" to all minority groups.

Shah said his government has decided to provide police training to young adults from minority communities to help provide security outside places of worship.

Javed Michael, a former Christian lawmaker, told that he feared there could be a clash between Muslims and Christians if the government did not take urgent measures.

He called on the government set up a task force to protect minorities as ordered by the Supreme Court of Pakistan last month.

On June 19, Pakistan's Supreme Court ordered the creation of a special force to provide security to the houses of worship for minority communities following a spate of attacks.

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