A 20-year-old Christian in Pakistan was shot dead by a Muslim while sleeping in his house at about 3 a.m., the latest case of a religious minority victimized for unknown reasons with police slow to act, sources said.
On November 9, in Talwandi Inayat Khan village, Pasrur tehsil of Sialkot District, Punjab Province, Farhan Ul Qamar was killed in his under-construction house at about 3 a.m. by Muhammad Zubair, his brother Shahan Ul Qamar said.
“Farhan was training to be a laboratory technician and was a humble soul, and we are clueless as to why Zubair trespassed in our home in the dark of the night and killed him,” Ul Qamar told Morning Star News.
He said he and his brother were sleeping in their parents’ room when the noise of the intrusion woke them.
“When my father turned the light on, he saw Zubair sitting on the window sill with a pistol in his hand,” Ul Qamar said. “Before my father could say something, Zubair started hurling abuses at Farhan, who had just woken up, and then opened fire at him, hitting him thrice in the right ear, neck and collarbone.”
As the entire family woke to the gunshots, Zubair jumped inside and held Ul Qamar’s mother at gunpoint, he said.
“He continued to curse and abuse us as he made his way to the main gate while pointing the pistol at my mother,” he said. “We looked on helplessly as the murderer got on his motorcycle and fled while shooting in the air.”
The previous day, Zubair had tried to pick a fight with his brother as he stood outside the home under construction, Ul Qamar said.
“Farhan and my paternal uncle were talking when Zubair appeared out of nowhere and started cursing Farhan over a pile of bricks that was placed on the roadside by laborers working on our under-construction house,” he told Morning Star News. “Zubair doesn’t even live on our street, and there was no reason for him to quarrel with Farhan.”
After a minor verbal exchange, Farhan Ul Qamar avoided getting into an argument with Zubair and came inside, his brother said. He denied social media comments that his brother had been killed for writing a pro-Israel post on Facebook.
“We don’t know why people made these claims on social media when nothing of this sort actually happened,” he said.
Living among 18-20 other Christian families in the village, Ul Qamar’s family has resided in the area for generations.
“Though we have been living in this village for over 100 years, the attitude of some Muslims has been prejudicial towards us because of our Christian faith,” he said. “Some days ago, two Christian brothers, Aqib Javed and Asher Javed, were beaten up and their father, Javed Masih, was illegally detained by the local police for nearly a week after they reportedly expressed support for Israel in wake of the recent conflict in Gaza Strip.”