The small, well-knit Pakistani Christian community organised a meeting to protest the brutal killing of a working couple in their native country.
Like-minded Pakistani Muslims and other ethnic groups also attended the protest rally held at Aotea Square in Auckland on November 22, 2014.
According to reports, Sajjad Maseeh (27) and Shama Bibi (24) were set upon by at least 1200 people following rumours that they had burnt verses from the Holy Quran.
Reverend Amail Habib, an acknowledged leader of the community, said that the Federal and State governments in Pakistan should do more to protect the lives and safety of the Christian minority.
He said that the murder was allegedly instigated by couple’s employer who misused them as slave labour.
“The Constitution of Pakistan provides equal status and rights to people all religions and prohibits discrimination on account of religion, race, caste, colour or creed. Minorities are free to follow their religion and visit their places of worship. But the reality is different,” he said and added that while authorities publicly condemn such actions, nothing is done to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“I hate to think that the Pakistan Judiciary is scared to take action against the criminals in such cases. I do not think terrorism has anything to do in this case. I appeal to the Pakistan government to repeal the Blasphemy law, which has caused much pain and death of many innocent people,” Rev Habib said.