Lahore Archbishop says Christians are close to Muslims in Indian Kashmir

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Lahore: The archbishop of Lahore Sebastian Shaw released a video message saying that Pakistan’s religious minorities are “praying for the people of Indian Kashmir”.

The archbishop was reacting to the decision by the Indian government to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special autonomy, which sparked renewed tensions between India and Pakistan again.

“We have been viewing and listening to the frightening news about Kashmir, the Modi Government in India has intervened and made life difficult for the people and given new impetus to terrorism whilst taking away their rights,” The Pakistani archbishop said.

For Bishop Shaw, “war is not the solution. If someone is into intoxication war, he abolishes himself, his nation, and loses the lives of people and the country’s economy.”

At the end of the video, the prelate urges people “to pray for the Kashmir issue, so that it may be decided peacefully”.

In last days, various groups representing Pakistan’s religious minorities held a rally in front of the Karachi Press Club, such as the National Commission for Interreligious Dialogue of the local Archdiocese and the Interfaith Commission for Peace and Harmony. In addition to Christians, there were also Hindus and Baha’is.

On this occasion, Fr. Saleh Diego, vicar general of the archdiocese and director of the National Justice and Peace Commission of the Pakistani Bishops’ Conference, said that “all Pakistani minorities demand peace in Kashmir and ask the United Nations to take a serious stand over this issue and let the Kashmiri people live in peace and harmony.”

Chief executive of the Interfaith Commission Allama Muhammad Ahsan Siddiqui said, “Islam preaches peace, brotherhood and harmony. Islam strictly prohibits bloodshed and chaos.”

At the same time, he condemned India’s continuous denial of the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.