Church Property: Demolition denounced

Published: January 10, 2012

The Punjab government razed the structure claiming the land had been transferred to the government. PHOTO: FILE/MUHAMMAD JAVAID

LAHORE: The National Commission of Justice and Peace (NCPJ) has accused the Punjab government of illegally demolishing a welfare centre allegedly without a notice.

The centre, Gosha-e-Aman, on Allama Iqbal Road, Garhi Shahu, was a property of the Catholic Church. Father Emmanuel Yousuf Mani, the NCPJ national director, told a press conference at the Lahore Press Club on Tuesday that the demolished compound was home to three families and worth billions of rupees. He said the property was registered as the Lahore Charitable Association and was managed by CARITAS Pakistan.

Father Emmanuel said litigation concerning the property was in court, and a stay order had been issued against its demolition.

Father Emmanuel told The Express Tribune that he found District Coordination Officer Ahad Khan Cheema with policemen and demolition machines when he went to the centre in the morning. He said they demolished the building despite his efforts to stop them. The Christian community representatives said that the DCO informed them that the property had been transferred to the government. They said the property was a Catholic Church property and could not be transferred without permission.

Tariq Zaman, a staff officer at the district coordination office, told The Express Tribune that the land was declared state land by the district collector in 2007. Since then, he said, the government representative had several times notified the owners of the centre.  Zaman said if the Catholic Church claimed that they owned the land, then they should present papers and court orders to explain their position to the government. The Christian community have announced a protest today.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • PakJam
    Jan 10, 2012 - 10:13PM

    What would happen if they demolish a mosque? Molvis would have killed the police… No rights for week in this country. I am ashamed today that I am a Pakistani from Lahore.

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  • No BS
    Jan 10, 2012 - 10:41PM

    Shameful act, is this not blasphemy??

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  • kamran
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:59PM

    Now please come ahead n reigister a case against the DCO as Bibles have been desecrated. But i know this will not happen, because in Pakistan blasphemy is only against Islam. Has the government razed mosques, the jamia hafza n many are enhroachments.
    I am a second grade citizenm i know that cz this proves it.

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  • JustAnotherPakistani
    Jan 11, 2012 - 12:59AM

    More pertinently the officials responsible should be held in contempt of court for disregarding the stay injunction granted by the court.
    Why can’t the same thing be done to the mosques encroaching illegally on public spaces in Islamabad? Recommend

  • Babloo
    Jan 11, 2012 - 2:29AM

    Blasphemy laws are meant to protect only the sentiments of Muslims. Other communities have only the right to be victim of blasphemy laws.

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  • Babloo
    Jan 11, 2012 - 2:32AM

    Does Shahbaz Sharif’s son , Mr Humza Shehbaz, as alleged here, head of a state sponsored ‘Qabza’ group ?

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  • Cynical
    Jan 11, 2012 - 3:20AM

    @PakJam
    Thanks and regards for an honest and upright stance.
    wonder what moral right we have to point fingers at those who demolished the Babri mosque in India.Recommend

  • John B
    Jan 11, 2012 - 5:09AM

    Of course they will demolish it. Who is going to stop them. I still wonder whatever happened to the historic Multan temples that actually made the city for centuries.

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  • AnisAqeel
    Jan 11, 2012 - 6:15AM

    Shame on Punjab Government and Mr. CJSC, where is your suo moto now!

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  • Khalid
    Jan 11, 2012 - 4:05PM

    This is wrong!

    As muslims we should honour and respect other religions.

    However corruption is rife in Pakistan aur kamzor aadmi ki awaaz kon sunega?

    Allah swt Pakistan ko bachaye – Ameen

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  • Yusuf Al-Kafir
    Jan 12, 2012 - 1:35AM

    They were just taking out the competition.

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  • Jan 12, 2012 - 3:48AM

    They will build a mosque over this land, This is what muslims have done for centuries: desecrating Jewish, Indian, and christians HOLY places: what hurts me more is the Mosque in Temple Mount in Jerusalem. I hope muslims can open their eyes and see how intolerant and irrational is their religion.

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  • Paras
    Jan 12, 2012 - 5:34AM

    I wonder if these atrocities against Christians will produce Christian terrorists like razing of Babri Masjid in India still produces many Muslim terrorists.

    There have been no Hindu or Christian terrorists in Pakistan despite the harsh and dehumanizing treatment of them by majority Muslims.

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  • fabiankhursheed
    Jan 12, 2012 - 11:11AM

    We need to getup and give the reply in thrir lungvage

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  • Liz
    Jan 12, 2012 - 6:47PM

    @fabiankhursheed:

    They alone got destruction over them…Famine in Somalie is a great example of the results of their evil deeds. Tsunami in muslim Idonesia…They think they can do anything they want and get no punishment? look the chaos in their countries, Sirya, Libya, Yemen,Egypt.. Gd is watching closely..Have FAITH

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  • Cycloneous
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:17AM

    I could sworn that Pakistan was a secular country, supposed to be based on democratic principles and respecting religious/cultural minorities. At least that is what Pakistan’s Founding Father said. . .

    “Therefore, we must learn a lesson from this. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.” — Ali Jinnah

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  • X-Paki
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:24AM

    Quaid-e-Azam would be turning in his grave regretting ever founding Pakistan. Mohammad Ali Jinnah declared: “Minorities, to whichever community they may belong, will be safeguarded. Their religion or faith of any kind will be secure. There will be no interference of any kind with their freedom of worship.”

    Read article below;

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2012/01/09/the-problem-of-pakistan-teaching-intolerance-and-violence/

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  • Javed Inayat
    Jan 13, 2012 - 4:35PM

    Chief jutes of Pakistan should take necessary and strong action against this blasphemy act.

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  • Javed Inayat
    Jan 13, 2012 - 4:46PM

    Chief Jutes of Pakistan should take necessary action against this act,because Govt of punjab has failed to provide protections and security to Christian and his belonging.

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  • Cycloneous
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:58PM

    @X-Paki

    I think Jinnah is doing more than turning in his grave! If he were alive today, he would be embarrassed as to what people have done to his dream for having Pakistan; I know I would!

    The problem is that people are not holding the government responsible or their “religious leaders.” That is why you have the nonsense happening with the taliban, the religious clerics, the kidnappings, beheadings, etc. But as usual, people will white wash what I, and many others have said go about business as usual and go into denial mode.

    So much for Ali Jinnah’s Pakistan, in theory was supposed to be a model islamic state based on democratic and islamic princples but well, we all know how that turned out.

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