Lahore, July 26 : Pakistani Christians are considered "Westerners" despite their efforts in the country's independence movement and nation building.
Community Development Initiatives (CDI) Executive Director Asif Aqeel said: "It is an interesting fact that these Christians are aboriginals and the remnants of the Indus Valley Civilisation. It was the Aryan conquest that brought these people to the status where they were considered untouchables."
Keeping this heritage in mind, Aqeel said, Pakistani Muslims should understand that their fellow Christian countrymen had nothing to do with the West.
He lamented that after 9/11, churches and Christian schools had been targeted. "More than 20 Christians were abducted in Peshawar recently during worship."
At the time of independence, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah met Christian leader Chandu Lal to get the minorities' support for Pakistan. Chandu Lal assured Jinnah of the Christian community's support, Aqeel said.
He further said Christians had supported democracy because it was the only way to transform Pakistan in accordance with Jinnah's ideals. He said the Quaid had envisioned a state where people were not discriminated on the basis of their caste, colour, creed or gender.
Aqeel was speaking at a seminar, titled "Socio-economic Challenges Faced by Christians".