Members of the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) have taken part in an interreligious event commemorating the assassination of the Catholic Pakistani minister Shahbaz Bhatti who was killed last month.
Christians, Muslims and members of the Baha’i leadership gathered at the Notational Baha’i centre in central London to pray together and remember Mr Bhatti’s contribution to Pakistani society.
The BPCA chose Psalm 23 and the Lord’s Prayer as the contribution from Pakistani Christians and a prayer was also formulated by other groups from the Book of Common Prayer .
Salas Kiani from the Pakistani High Commission spoke on behalf of the High Commissioner. He talked of Mr Bhatti’s endearing character, which had touched him significantly although they had only met once. Mr Kiani said that the government was committed to pushing through reforms to make Pakistan’s society one that was more fair. He was a good advocate for the government and his words were both respectful and meaningful. He spoke of a strong commitment to see a good outcome from the assassination of Mr Bhatti.
Wilson Chowdhry of the BPCA spoke about Mr Bhatti’s commitment to ensuring that the Christian community was recognised. Mr Chowdhry talked about Mr Bhatti’s reluctant entry into politics – he turned down three government posts before realising that he could only effect change from within.
David Griffiths of the South Asian team at Christian Solidarity Worldwide and John Bosco from Christian Social Link, a human rights organisation, were among the speakers. Dr Kishan Manocha from the Bahai Community called for unity between Pakistan’s different religions.