The Christian worker in Pakistan perished because of the torment inflicted upon them by their Muslim employer.

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LahorePakistan: A Muslim factory owner in Pakistan on Thursday (June 6) tortured to death an 18-year-old Catholic worker for leaving the job against his wishes, family members said.

Two months ago, Waqas Salamat started working at Haji Muhammad Saleem’s plastic bottle manufacturing facility in the Islampura neighborhood of Lahore. Salamat died when Saleem, his son Umar Saleem, and three Muslim workers forcibly took him to the factory and tortured him for hours with electric shocks, the victim’s mother said.

After Waqas Salamat stopped going to the factory on June 1 because he believed he could find better work, Saleem summoned his parents to the factory on June 4. He pressured them to make him return, said his mother, Rubina Salamat.

“When we told him he didn’t want to come back, Saleem suddenly accused Waqas of committing a theft worth millions of rupees,” she told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News. We attempted to convey to Saleem that our son was not involved in any theft, yet he adamantly disregarded our words.

When Saleem threatened to have Waqas Salamat arrested on a fake theft charge, Rubina Salamat told him that, although her son was innocent, they would compensate Saleem for the alleged damages in installments.

She said she offered to pay the installments by deducting 7,000 rupees (US$25) per month from the salary of another son who worked at the factory, 13-year-old Awais Salamat, in exchange for Saleem releasing Waqas Salamat.

Saleem rejected the offer and insisted that Waqas Salamat resume work at the factory, and the parents agreed to talk with him.

On Thursday (June 6), Waqas Salamat met a potential employer near Saleem’s factory, and Umar Saleem spotted him.

“He informed his father, and they sent some workers to bring Waqas to the factory,” where they bound his hands and feet, Rubina Salamat said.

“Factory workers Shahzad, Bilal, and Shani and the two owners started beating my son mercilessly with plastic pipes and other objects,” she told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News. “My son Awais was also in the factory and witnessed the entire episode, but there was nothing he could do to save his elder brother.”

The assailants also gave Waqas Salamat electric shocks, she said.

“The torture was so excruciating that my son collapsed. Seeing the situation, Saleem told my son Awais to clean Waqas’s body with water and then run home and bring us to the factory,” Rubina Salamat said. “As soon as Awais informed me, I ran towards the factory, but my son had succumbed to the torture by that time. There was nothing I could do to save his life.”

The factory owners and workers fled before police arrived, she said. Islampura police registered a First Information Report against Saleem, his son, and the three workers and sent Waqas Salamat’s body for autopsy.

“Our financial condition is such that we didn’t even have enough money to arrange for his burial,” Rubina Salamat said, sobbing. “I begged my relatives to loan me money so that I could put my son’s body to rest.”

Her oldest son, Kashif Salamat, a Lahore Waste Management Company sweeper, said police arrested one worker while the remaining four, including the owner and his son, obtained pre-arrest bail.

“The factory is locked, and the owner, Saleem, and his son are absconding,” Kashif Salamat told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News. “We are impoverished people and do not have the means to pursue the legal case against them.”

Muslim employers commonly exploit impoverished Christian workers, believing they do not have the resources or status in the 96 percent Muslim country to get justice. Kashif Salamat and his mother appealed to Christians for help.

“Waqas was my beloved son and my biggest support,” Rubina Salamat said. His consistent promises to ease our hardships lingered in my mind, but the sudden loss of him was unimaginable.

She said her husband, Salamat Masih, has long been ill and unable to work. She works as a maid in two houses, earning 7,000 rupees (US$25) monthly. The couple has five children, three of whom are married and live separately.

Pakistan ranked seventh on Open Doors’ 2024 World Watch List of the most challenging places to be a Christian, as it was the previous year.

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Godly News is a subsidiary of Christianity News Daily that publishes Christian news, focusing on daily gospel news and reporting on International Christian News. The magazine covers the persecuted church and the global Christian community for the enhancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the salvation of souls.

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