A pastor, serving at Presbyterian Church, on Sunday survived an attempt on his life in a suspected targeted attack in Khunwana, Faisalabad.
Pastor Alizer Sidhu was traveling back to his home after presiding over a prayer sermon when armed men stopped him and opened fire at him. He was rushed to the nearest hospital, where his condition was stated to be out of danger.
The pastor, a father of three, recorded his video statement in an ambulance when he was being shifted to the hospital. As per the video message, he said that armed men stopped him and asked him to recite the Kalma, and upon denying it, the armed man chanted a slogan and opened straight fire at him.
It is pertinent to mention here that on August 28, unidentified men wrote slogans of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), a hardline religious political party, on the boundary walls of the Presbyterian Church in Rehmat Town Khunwana, Faisalabad, where Pastor Alizer is serving for the last four years.
The incident was highlighted in the media, and later the slogans were removed in the presence of senior police officers.
On August 16, a charged mob of around 7,000 people stormed a Christian colony in the Jaranwala Tehsil of Faisalabad district, where they ransacked several buildings and set multiple churches on fire over blasphemy allegations.
Dozens of Christian families had to flee violent Muslim mobs that were after the blood of two young Christian brothers.
While condemning the attack on the pastor in broad daylight, Christian religious and political leadership demanded a transparent investigation of the distressing incident and the provision of swift justice to the victim.
They also urged the pastors and minority rights activists to be vigilant and avoid unnecessary travel, as the situation in Faisalabad is worsening day by day.