katchi abadis residents protest eviction 8-24-15
Here something to think about in reading Shamim Masih’s report on Christian persecution in Pakistan:
Police collusion is strongly suspected in a massive arson attack on the Christian Joseph Colony in the Pakistani city of Lahore on March 9 and legal people are questioning whether there is a property-related agenda behind the attack.
The chief justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudry, rejected the police report on the incident during a hearing in the Supreme Court on March 11, accusing them of sheltering criminals and failing to act to prevent the violence, even though he believes they had prior knowledge that it was being planned.
He asked if a property-related matter was the real reason behind what he called police collusion in the attack, which was carried out by around 3,000 Muslim men.
It occurred on the morning of March 9, destroying at least 160 homes of low to middle class Christians and 18 shops, as well as one Catholic church and a Seventh Day Adventist complex.
Sister Marie Cecile Osborne, the principal of the Jesus Mary and Joseph Convent School in Lahore, said, “In 2012, elements close to Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of the Punjab, and his brother, Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, were involved in a politico-police action to grab land in Lahore belonging to the Catholic Church.” [Bold Emphasis is Blog Editor’s]
Prior to the looting and burning of Joseph Colony, a 25-year-old Christian man, Sawan Masih, was accused of blasphemy by Imran Shahid, a crime that is punishable by death.
Masih and Imran had been friends. Dilawar Masih, a Christian whose shop was destroyed in the attack, said, “Both Imran (Shahid) and Sawan (Masih) were close friends. Imran has made the allegation only to settle a personal score, because they had quarrelled [sic] over some petty matter.”
The police then visited the area and advised the Christian people to leave, which most of them did.
But so did the police, who then did nothing to protect the property, even though they knew trouble was brewing.
She also accused the police of colluding in the attack. “Indications are the police were ordered to leave the scene before the violence began.” She implied strongly that the Sharif brothers are behind the whole affair in their attempt to get property. [Bold Emphasis is Blog Editor’s]
When Shamim fingers Nawaz Sharif of the ruling political party PML-N, he is pointing to the political corruption of Pakistan’s political leaders especially as it relates to Christian forced to primarily live in urban slums in Pakistan. Shamim is a shining light in a nation dominated by Islamic darkness. Corrupt politicians aim first at helpless minorities. In the case of the urban slums (katchi abadis) this target is the displacement of Pakistani Christians.
Petulant PML-N will RAZE the Slums in the Capital
By Shamim Masih
Sent: September 4, 2015 03:37
ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party in Pakistan is evidently considered against the Christians in the country. Most of the inhuman retort, like burning a Christian couple, burning Christian colonies after accusing any Christian had been in Punjab during its rule. A death penalty punishment was being added in blasphemy law by the Godfather of Nawaz Sharif, (Gen Zia ul Haq). The PML-N leader was reportedly behind the burning of the hundreds of the Christians’ houses including two churches in Joseph Colony, Lahore in March, 2013.
Now during the rule of the said party the Capital Development Authority (CDA) plans to demolish 41 slums in different sectors of the capital though few katchi abadis were regularized with no development by the CDA though promised. CDA informed the Supreme Court that katchi abadis will be demolished in four phases but no time frame was given to execute the plan.
Under phase I, the slums to be knocked down are: Street 17 of Sector I-10/1, Sector H-11/2 Kashmir Highway, Roshan Colony Sector I-12, Christian Colony Sector G-6/1-4, Dhobi Ghat G-6/2, Sector F-8/1 Nazimuddin Road, Green Belt H-12 and I-12 behind NUST, Muzaffar Colony H-11/4, Musharraf Colony G-8/4, Muhallah Dori Bagh, Miskeen Colony G-8/4, Shopper Colony G-7 Markaz, Sector H-9 and Bari Imam Katchi Abadi.
Likewise, 11 katchi abadis will be removed under phase II. They are: Chak Shahzad (PIA), Chak Shahzad Pona Faqiran, Dhoke Pathan Chamber Road Abadi, Dhoke Pathan (Sahila), Khanna Pull, New Shkrial katchi abadi, Shams Colony Bhangra Road, Rawat, Sumbal at Korak Town, Junejo Colony, Mohriyan and NIH Colony.
Five similar colonies are slated to be demolished under phase III. They are: Bheka Syedan F-11, Sectors G-12, F-12, E-12 behind Khushian Wali Sarkar and I-11/2 Bakra and Surain.
In phase IV, the slums to be removed are located at Sectors G-7/1, G-7/2 (66 quarters), G-7/3-2 (48 quarters), F-6/2, F-7/4 France Colony, Hansa Colony G-8/1, Essa Nagri I-9/1 and Muslim Colony, Bari Imam.
A petition was moved in the Supreme Court, seeking that the state is bound to provide the evicted people shelter and other amenities under the constitution. On the other hand, the civic agency submitted a report stating that the plan to demolish the slum settlements had been approved by the interior ministry. The Apex Court [is] sounding silent, besides, in February 2014 the Islamabad High Court had also issued directions in this regard.
Most of the people in these slum areas are Christians, and have been living for more than three decades. They are constantly living under threat though serving the well-to-do families in the capital. Most of them work as laborers, housekeepers, street cleaners but the authorities has not provided them housing facilities. Their children are starving and families choose to sell themselves into slavery for survival, illustrating that humanity has left the nation of Pakistan.
Mostly living across the seasonal drainages (Nalaas) and always affected by the flood every year in the rainy season but no disaster recovery plan or infrastructure has been put in place to enhance their safety and security. Victims lost most of their possessions every year which washed away with their homes or irretrievably ruined by water surge. But they again manage their livings. Many of them have been drowned during the raining season and died, left their children helpless. These people are living without any proper drainage system, no pure water facility, no regular electricity and gas facility provided by CDA.
If the CDA starts its operation against the slums, it will leave a hundred thousand Christians homeless in the first phase only. Christian Colony Sector G-6/1-4, Musharraf Colony G-8/4, Miskeen Colony G-8/4, Shopper Colony G-7 Markaz, and Sector H-9 are thickly populated areas. Thus the operation will ruin more than half million Christians in population on the ground.
Note: – I have been working tirelessly to raise voice and to help end injustice for the Christians in Pakistan. But certainly with the limited resources [I] can’t do it on a regular basis. If you feel [same need to aid fellow Christians], please support this cause that I might continue to write for Pakistani Christian. I shed tears when I heard the story of this repeating plight [of Christian persecution] and [I] hope others are moved by the tragic lifestyle these families face daily.
For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560
Blogger and Human Rights Activist
Edited by John R. Houk
Any text enclosed by bracket is by the Editor.
© Shamim Masih