Catholic families face eviction and uncertain future in Pakistan. Sajan George
18 Dec 2005
Banglore; December 18, 2005. Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) is shocked to hear about the reported move of eviction of Several Catholic families in an area near Karachi as Pakistan army intends to take over their land.
According to Archbishop Evarist Pinto of Karachi about 100 Christian families "live under the threat of an eviction order" in two localities near Karachi.
"Most of the land is owned by the army and some private individuals, but some lots were illegally sold to Christians and Muslims,"
Archbishop Pinto said the army plans to move into the "area of St. Thomas Parish Church despite the fact that many people have been long time residents and have a stay order from the court allowing them to remain."
Bishop Anthony Lobo of Islamabad-Rawalpindi said in one area of Karachi the Catholics have a church and a school and "the army issued eviction notices to 90 Christian families."
GCIC learns that the Mangla dam was built in Kashmir, some residents left for England; some others were settled in Joharabad, 300 kilometers from Islamabad.
Joharabad is a desert area whose soil was made fertile thanks to the patient toil of Christian farmers.
The recent earthquake has added to the problems of poor Christians and Muslims in the area.
Evictions are a deeply rooted issue, those affected by eviction in his diocese are poor, who "cannot afford a lawyer or pay court expenses. But this is an important battle and all should fight it for them, or, please notify the original sender