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Christians' murder: Zardari directs authorities to take action

world Updated: Jul 20, 2010 22:38 IST
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Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari today directed authorities to take action on the murder of two Christians accused of blasphemy and the demolition of a temple in Rawalpindi.

Taking note of reports about the gunning down of two Christians outside a court at Faisalabad in Punjab yesterday, Zardari directed provincial authorities to take "every measure for the arrest" of the killers.

He gave an assurance that justice would be done.

Rashid Emanuel and his brother Sajid were arrested earlier this month for allegedly authoring a blasphemous pamphlet on Prophet Mohammed.

Police said members of a banned religious group were believed to be involved in their killing.

In a statement, Zardari strongly condemned the incident and said it had brought a bad name to Pakistan.

"The life of every person is sacred and no one can be allowed to take the law into their hands," he said.

The President expressed sympathy with the families of Rashid and Sajjad Emanuel and directed the Punjab government to pay them suitable compensation.

Zardari also took note of reports about the demolition of part of a Hindu temple in Rawalpindi and asked Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti to investigate the matter and report the factual position.

In a separate development, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja Muhammad Sharif took suo moto notice of the murder of the Christian brothers and summoned the regional police chief of Faisalabad to appear before him tomorrow with the complete record of the case.