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Pakistan Church hit by arrest warrant for bishop: CEN 2.19.10 p 8. March 2, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Pakistan.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of the Bishop of Karachi, the Rt. Rev. Sadiq Daniel, after the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Jan 25 issued an order revoking the bishop’s bail for a pending criminal assault case.

The arrest warrant for Bishop Daniel—who remains at large as of our going to press— is the latest in a series of troubles for the divided Church of Pakistan Diocese of Karachi, which has seen numerous lawsuits and was the subject of a failed intervention by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey.

On Oct 1, 1997 the Rev. Ijaz Inayat was elected Bishop of Karachi by the diocesan synod. Shortly before his consecration, a rival faction within the diocese charged the election was unlawful and received an injunction from a civil court blocking the consecration.

In 2002, the Rev. Sadiq Daniel was elected Bishop of Karachi in an election boycotted by supporters of Bishop-elect Inayat. Bishop Alexander Malik of Lahore, Bishop Samuel Azraiah of Raiwind and the former Bishop of Multan, the Rt. Rev. John Smart consecrated Mr. Daniel as Bishop of Karachi.

In response, Bishop Smart K. Dass of Hyderabad, Bishop John Samuel of Faisalabad, Bishop John Mall of Multan and Bishop Pervaiz Samuel of Sialkot consecrated Mr. Inayat as Bishop of Karachi. Litigation over who is the true bishop of Karachi is on-going.

The arrest warrant for Bishop Daniel arises from an incident where he allegedly assaulted the administrator of a women’s hostel.

On April 11, 2005, Bishop Daniel along with a number of supporters entered the offices of the administrator of the Brenton Carey Girls Hostel in Karachi and sought to evict Mrs. Ghazala Shafique—a support of Bishop Inayat, from her position. They allegedly stripped and beat her in an attempt to force her to sign documents relinquishing her position.

A criminal complaint for assault was filed against the bishop and three accomplices, and bail was granted on Jan 4, 2006. Mrs. Shafique filed an appeal challenging the bail application, and after a hearing on Dec 3, 2009, the court revoked the bishop’s bail on Jan 25, 2010, issuing the arrest warrant.

Bishop Daniel has denied his guilt in the Brenton Carey affair, and in 2009 told the Karachi News he was disappointed he was being tried in the press, while the proceedings were still pending before the civil courts.

Supporters of Bishop Daniel denounced Mrs. Shafique, a Christian convert from Islam, with “ulterior motives.” Bishop Daniel’s diocesan secretary Zafar Iqbal told the Karachi News “we have evidence of her frequent visits to Afghanistan from where she brought money to Pakistan to distribute among poorer members of the Christian community.”

“We suspected she may have been doing so to economically empower the Christians and then gradually turn them against the clergy, and so we decided to sack her,” he said. A charge denied by Mrs. Shafique’s supporters.

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