1st February 2022

By Arshad Mohmand


Two days after the assassination of Father William Siraj, a Christian pastor, in Peshawar, no organisation has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Police sources told Voicepk.net that the investigators are probing the possibility that the attack may have been carried out by militants of the Islamic State (IS). However, security forces are exhausting all possible angles in the case.

Earlier on September 30, 2021, a Sikh hakim, Sardar Satnam Singh, was gunned down in his dawakhana on Charsadda Road, Peshawar. IS-Khorasan, an IS-affiliated outfit operating in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and India, claimed responsibility for the attack.

According to Khushbakht, a pastor at a local church in the city, Father Siraj’s killing and other such similar incidents are motivated by religious extremism.

Jamshed Thomas, a Christian member of the National Assembly from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), assured that the government is taking all possible measures to prevent the target killing of minorities in the province.

The attack on Father Siraj and Reverend Patrick Naeem, who was injured in the incident, came two days before the start of the World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Interfaith Harmony and Chairman of the Muttahida Ulema Board, Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, on Monday visited Peshawar’s St. John Cathedral Church to offer condolences for the deceased pastor.

He also offered maghrib prayers in the church ‘in solidarity’, a move which various quarters of social media said added insult to injury.

Violent incidents against religious minorities has increased in Peshawar since the year 2000. In the past two years alone, at least five Ahmadis were killed in the city.


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