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Militants claim killing ‘Pakistani spy’ Christian.

A militant group in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province has claimed responsibility for shooting down a Christian and termed him a police spy against them.

Baloch Liberation Army, an ethnic-nationalist militant group, in a statement on April 13 said they killed 55-year-old Pervaiz Masih because he was “spying for Pakistani intelligence agencies posing as a government employee.”


Pervaiz Masih is the second Christian health worker murdered this month in Pakistan. Kashif Masih was shot on April 1 in Peshawar. Sharafat Shareef, executive secretary of Caritas Quetta, deplores a context of inflation and unemployment.


A militant group in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province has claimed responsibility for shooting down a Christian and termed him a police spy against them.


Baloch Liberation Army, an ethnic-nationalist militant group, said they killed 55-year-old Pervaiz Masih because he was “spying for Pakistani intelligence agencies posing as a government employee.”


Masih, a father of four from Punjab province, had been working as a sweeper for the state-run Irrigation Department and Turbat Municipal Corporation.



He was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle near Turbat’s Jamia mosque on April 12. Masih was buried the next day in his hometown in Okara, Punjab.


The April 12 statement from militant group’s spokesman Jeeyand Baloch claimed they had “made it clear on April 9 that those working as spies on the payroll of the occupant Pakistani army and intelligence agencies in Turbat and other areas are on our target.”


“Our attacks on the occupant army and its shareholders will continue till we get a free country,” he said.


Balochistan, Pakistan’s southwest region bordering Afghanistan and Iran, has been witnessing separatist violence for decades.


In the past two decades, the militant group intensified its armed struggle against the Pakistan government demanding self-determination for the Baloch people and freeing the gas-rich region from Pakistan.


Masih’s son Charles Masih said the militant group was “lying” about his father. “All those killed by separatists are labeled as spies, a typical allegation to cover up the crime.”


He said his father regularly attended Sunday Mass in a church in the army headquarters, the only church in Turbat.


“Perhaps his regular Sunday visits to the army area forced them to see him as a spy,” he told UCA News.


The Church in Balochistan has endured the brunt of the separatist conflict.


In 2013, Sri Lankan missionary Bishop Gnanapragasam narrowly escaped death when a bomb exploded near his residence.


In 2017, two suicide bombers struck a Methodist Church in the provincial capital Quetta while children were rehearsing a Christmas play. Nine people were killed and 57 were wounded in the attack claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group, also known as Daesh.


Pastor Simon Bashir, who survived the bombing, said unlike the Islamic State local Taliban and Balochis don’t target Christians and missionaries.


"They normally target members and acquaintances of army personnel, irrespective of their religion. Masih may have been killed because of his regular visits to the church” in the army area, the pastor said.


Catholic Church in Quetta has some 30,000 Catholics, forming 0.4 percent of 7.2 million people in the Muslim-majority province, according to church sources.


Christians, who are predominantly Punjabis, are concentrated mostly in Quetta.


Sharafat Shareef, executive secretary of Caritas Quetta, said 25 percent of the Christians in Quetta are employed in the military and paramilitary Frontier Corps.


“Our province has never been peaceful, but we love and trust our institutes. The religious minorities will remain patriotic despite challenges,” he said.




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