Land grabbing Muslim men seized and bulldozed homes of seven Christian families in a village of Kasur.
The local Muslim men have been named as Shahid Khan, Jaffar Ali, Zafar Iqbal and Munir Bhatti. It is alleged that they produced forged documents with the help of the Local Patwari (village accountant – government appointed).
The land grabbers have destroyed and occupied the homes of Rafique Masih, Shangara Masih, Farzana Bibi, Iruma Bibi (Widow), Bagh Masih, William Masih, Samar Masih and Gama Bibi (widow). They got them to evacuate their homes by threatening to kill them or implicate them in local criminal cases.
Whilst the terrified families vacated their homes, they were forced to watch as their belongings were thrown on the road . This sad incident occurred in Village Rao Khan Wala, Kasur. Close to the location were victims Shama (expecting child) and Shahzad were burned alive. Reports of attacks on Christians in this area are now being reported daily and said to have been fueled by hate speech, resonating from unfettered mosques in the region.
Christian families were given one option for a potential return of their homes and land, and that was to convert to Islam. Holding on to their faith not one of the victims, renounced Christianity for Islam.
These affected families are in extreme danger during the harsh winter season. They are living out in the open desperately need good accommodation. Christian neighbours are living in terror as they have received similar hate messages and threats and fear that they will be the next victims.
This is not the first incident of land grabbing in Pakistan. Drigh Road in Karachi is famed for it, but usually the Christian families are subjected to a blasphemy allegation or killed. In this case the use of the local village accountant in creating forged papers, is indicative of the inappropriate and inadequate governmental administrative practice, that is clearly outdated.
Their is need for reform of the administration of land and property rights. A central body is required and a modern electronic system that is both accountable and secure. Otherwise Christian’s and other minorities will continue to fall foul to the whims of such pernicious avarice.
Advocate Mushtaq Gill, who is campaigning for these families said;
“Land grabbing is of particular relevance to LEAD, as it has made significant progress in representing poor who have been deprived of their ancestral lands by the government or by influential Muslims.”
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA said;
“Inevitably Christians faced with the consequences of torture, rape of their wives and daughters, potential death or murder of a loved one, give up their property trusting God for their survival. The ease within which property and land is usurped from Christians in Pakistan, is a poor indictment of the Governance in the country.”
BPCA have initiated a fund for the victims of Kasur. Our project will depend on the generosity of our followers and will either involve provision of blankets and warm clothing, or a larger land purchase and home building program that will also include clean water pumps and cleaning facilities to uplift this community. Every penny donated will be used on helping a community that will continue to be targeted without your assistance.
If we can raise appropriate finance, we will hire a security team to protect the community and will also ensure all paperwork for the property is stored at our offices and registered with the Pakistan High Commission in London. This will prevent future disputes over property rights.
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