This discrimination continues despite them being the most depressed class, with a majority eking a living from scavenging and other forms of cleaning work.
Pakistan's Interior Ministry had on February 23, 1948 put out an ad in the Dawn newspaper giving legal rights to the government to curb the migration of depressed classes (Christians) for essential services.
A majority of their descendants are involved with sanitary works and scavenging, and it begs the question, was this why they were asked to stay back in independent Pakistan on the promise of their needs being met?
The then Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Sri Prakasa, had even met the Prime Minister of Pakistan to protest against Islamabad preventing Christians from leaving the country.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah had then called a leader of Christian sweepers named Magsi Bahgwan, and told him: "Your people must not go to India. Those who have gone, just come back. We will give you whatever you need."
The responsibility for the twin explosions at the All Saints church in Peshawar has been claimed by the Jandullah Group, a faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
A day after over 70 people, most of them Christians, were killed in twin bomb attacks on the All Saints Church in Peshawar, a distressed Archbishop of Bangalore, Father Bernard Moras, expressed his deep shock over the horrific incident.
"I personally condemn such an act and no one should get involved in such acts. Children, women and others, why should they be killed? Everyone has a right to practice his or her own religion. Everyone has a right to worship god in his or her way, and, we should be happy if one prays and worships god and respects each other," he said.
Father Moras questioned as to what harm had the Christians done to the people of Pakistan.
"In Pakistan, there are only four percent Christians, belong to various denominations Catholics and others, such a small number of Christians. Why should they go to trouble anyone? They even fear an anxiety practically everyday. And we have seen such attacks (by) suicidal bombers not only yesterday, many a times. What harm has the Christians done to the people of Pakistan? Rather I would say they pray for peace, they support," said Father Moras.
"In the recent times, Pope Francis, the present Holy Father, gave a call when there is a war declared against Syria, and he said 'war, terrorism is not the solution for anything and everything in this world; it is only working for peace, living in solidarity and harmony is a solution for all our problems in the world'," he added.
Father Moras appealed to the people of Pakistan and to the government in Islamabad to provide necessary security to every religious minority group and allow them to practice their religion in the way they would like to practice it.
Father Dominic Emmanuel, the spokesperson of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, described the attack on Christians in Peshawar as a very sad and shameful incident.
"The incident that has taken place at the church in Peshawar, where at the moment more that 80 Christians have been killed and many others have been injured is a very, very sad incident not only for the Christian community here or elsewhere in the world, but for the whole (of) humanity," said Father Emmanuel.
"I mean, one wonders who are these people who are attacking people who are coming out of the church, after a worship. What kind of religion can they follow, if they are doing this kind of thing in the name of religion? And I know (that) Koran does not permit people to differentiate on the basis of faith. Prophet Mohammad has himself said that everyone to his own religion. So, where is this ideology coming (from) where people go and attack and they kill themselves and kill so many people coming out of the church? Now, this is one problem," he added.
Father Emmanuel further said Christians, of course, do not retaliate, or do not go back to attack people so they are becoming victims.
He said that Christian missionaries are being harassed, many churches are being attacked and prayer meetings are being attacked in many other places in India.
"Of course, we cannot compare the two countries. Pakistan is different and India is different. We are much better off, I would say, (since) we have greater freedom to practice our religion etcetera. But, even then, Christians are victims and are persecuted also in India," Father Emmanuel added.
The bombing, the deadliest single attack on Christians that church leaders could recall in the country's 66-year history, sparked protests across the country and renewed concerns over the country's ability to protect religious minorities.
The All Saints Church was built in 1883 and is one of the oldest Christian churches in northwest Pakistan.
--ANI (Posted on 23-09-2013)