Islamabad: Reacting to the vandalization of several churches in the Jaranwala area of Faisalabad over blasphemy allegations, Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-Ul-Haq Kakar on Wednesday said that he is "gutted" by the visuals. He has vowed to take action against those who violate the law and target minorities.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, Anwaar-Ul-Haq Kakar stated, "I am gutted by the visuals coming out of Jaranwala,#Faisalabad. Stern action would be taken against those who violate law and target minorities. All law enforcement has been asked to apprehend culprits and bring them to justice. Rest assured that the government of Pakistan stands with our citizenry on equal basis."

On Wednesday, multiple churches were vandalised in the Jaranwala tehsil of Faisalabad. A Christian leader, Akmal Bhatti, said the crowd had torched at least five churches, Pakistan-based Dawn reported. Images on social media platforms showed smoke billowing out from the church buildings and people setting fire to furniture that had been dragged from them.

Speaking to Dawn, Imran Bhatti, the pastor of the Jaranwala tehsil said that the Salvation Army Church, United Presbyterian Church, Allied Foundation Church and Shehroonwala Church located in Isa Nagri region were ransacked.

Bhatti further said that the house of a Christian cleaner, who was accused of blasphemy, has also been demolished. Punjab police chief Usman Anwar said that the police were holding negotiations with the protesters and the area had been cordoned off. Speaking to Dawn, the provincial police chief said, "There are narrow lanes [in the area] in which small two to three marla churches are located and there is one main church … they have vandalised portions of the churches."

The official further said that efforts were being made to control the situation by situation by engaging with peace committees. The official said that the police in the province had been activated. Usman Anwar said, "The assistant commissioner of the area, a member of the Christian community, has also been evacuated after people turned against him," Dawn reported.

Meanwhile, Christian leaders said that the police remained silent spectators, the report said. President Bishop of the Church of Pakistan Azad Marshall said Christians were being tortured and harassed.

Bishop Azad Marshall, posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, "Words fail me as I write this. We, Bishops, Priests and lay people are deeply pained and distressed at the Jaranwala incident in the Faisalabad District in Pakistan. A church building is being burnt as I type this message. Bibles have been desecrated and Christians have been tortured and harassed having been falsely accused of violating the Holy Quran. We cry out for justice and action from law enforcement and those who dispense justice and the safety of all citizens to intervene immediately and assure us that our lives are valuable in our own homeland that has just celebrated independence and freedom."