Sialkot: (By Kashif Nawab) The incident took place at Kang Chelokay village which was established before partition of Pakistan that consist about 450 families out of which there are only 45 Christian families. There is only one local Church named Ephraim Memorial Church that belongs to Church of Pakistan under the ownership of Sialkot Diocese. This property is measured into one kanal and two marlas. This local Church had only one room used as a Church and the rest of the land was opened. A neighbouring Muslim family Hussain Ali Police Constable with cattles had permission to use the open land for its cattles and agreed upon to vacant when the need arises. The Church had funds so it started to build its boundary. One sided boundary wall was build when Hussain Ali erupted and created a scene. The next day he appeared with a stay from the local court and demolished the boundary wall with the help of alliance from the local police and brutally assaulted the workers and Church members. A rescue call on 15 was dialed and the respondents were under the influence of Hussain Ali police constable and failed to provide any assistance briefed by Master Pervaiz, a local resident and member of the congregation.
In the quest of the incident, the elders in the village held a local meeting and asked Hussain Ali to vacate the Church property and to withdraw the stay from the court. At last, he was compelled to oblige the decision made by the elders. The elders said that Christians living in this village must not be hurt, they are the peaceful people and respectful citizen of this country.
Elder Mushtaq Khokhar said that the Government of Pakistan has failed to comply the Supreme Court Judgment 2014 re minorities’ protection task force for the past five years. Seems like the Government does not have any attention to do so, that means such incidents like Kala Shah Kaku, Rahimyar Khan, Okara and Sialkot are evitable with no end to it. I remember the tweet of our Prime Minister Imran Khan saying ‘I want to warn our people that anyone in Pakistan targeting our non-Muslim citizens or their places of worship will be dealt with strictly. Our minorities are equal citizens of this country’. We Christians urge the Prime Minister of Pakistan to take immediate action on these two recent incidents to show the world around that minorities are safe in Pakistan.
Rev. Haroon Bhatti, Presbyterian Incharge said that though the Government does not differentiate between sects, it has a prime responsibility to safeguard its minorities along with their properties as well. And when it comes to assets like Church, it doubles up their responsibility. But places like this there is hatred among sects especially towards minorities. Our founder Quaid-e-Azam also briefed that all citizens are equal before the law and no one is above the law and all people are equal citizen. Such incidents are happening frequently now-a-days with the motives to grab Christian property like incident occurred at Kala Shah Kaku Church.
Ms. Noreen Gill, Member Human Rights Committee, District Sialkot said that she was directed by Mr. Ejaz Alam Augustine, Minster of Human Rights and Minority Affairs, called upon both Church leaders and Hussain Ali along with Head of the village. The Head of the village identified the land as property of the Church, so the matter was reconciled at the local level. She emphasized that such occurrence of Christian properties has been regular practices in Punjab and the Government has not taken any serious notice, whereas the Government must take affirm steps to stop such violations. This sort of violations takes place due to minorities being weak and the alliances department does not take issues seriously. It is the prime responsibility of the Government to ensure safeguard place of worship and institutes of the minorities and have affirmed policy and measures to alleviate violation happenings as to bring good gesture to the country globally in terms of protection of its minorities.
Mr. Tahir Khalil Sandhu, MPA, Chairman Standing Committee Human Rights said that it is very unfortunate that majority people living here in Pakistan do not have respect for the minorities due to Algeria’s motives, greed of land, inability to think that this is a sacred land and communal property. Any police or mechanism developed by different form has been set aside by the Government for the protection and safeguard of the minorities in Pakistan. Minority rights violation turned to be a regular optimism especially in Punjab and Sindh provinces. The Government must take very severe action against those culprits because Christians, due to minorities, are not in the same power and population, and have only liner and janitorial jobs. He said that he would definitely raise these issues in the upcoming Parliament Session of the Punjab. He assured that he would meet the Inspector General of Police to bring issue into his kind attention, thus take appropriate actions to alleviate them or to minimize happening in future.