The Supreme Court of Pakistan is set to hear a case concerning the arson and rampage that took place in the Christian neighborhood of Jaranwala, Faisalabad. The incident occurred on August 16, when a mob vandalized churches and set numerous houses on fire following incitement from mosque clerics, who accused the Christian community of blasphemy.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Ijaz-Ul-Ahsan and including Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, will preside over the case. Minority leader Samuel Pyaray filed a petition to seek the Supreme Court’s intervention in addressing the Jaranwala tragedy, marking the second time the case has been scheduled for a hearing.
The violent mob not only set fire to homes but also looted valuables from Christian houses that had been abandoned by their owners due to the threats and violence. At its peak, over 5,000 individuals from other districts joined the mob in the neighborhood, causing extensive destruction.
Following the incident, Christian families were forced to spend nights in fields and desolate areas to protect their lives, while some moved to other regions to live with relatives. Two cases were registered against the arsonists in Jaranwala, including charges of terrorism and blasphemy, with 37 suspects nominated and over 600 unidentified individuals included in the investigation.
Two men suspected of inciting violence by making announcements at a mosque were arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) shortly after the incident. In an effort to investigate the tragic event, foster interfaith unity, and counter extremist narratives, the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) and the Church of Pakistan jointly established a 24-member committee on August 20.