“[W]hile the stable will keep the Muslims’ animals warm and dry, these 30 Christian families are now homeless.”
“Officials Allow Muslims to Demolish 30 Christian Homes for Stable,” by Jeremy Reynalds for ANS, December 19:
WASHINGTON D.C. (ANS) — A human rights group is reporting that a powerful Muslim village elder and his nephews evicted about 30 impoverished Christian families from their homes in order to make way for a stable for their livestock.
In a news release, the Washington-DC based International Christian Concern (ICC) said that while the stable will keep the Muslims’ animals warm and dry, these 30 Christian families are now homeless in their village of Kotla Punjubaig in Sheikhupura district near Lahore, Pakistan.
In an interview with ICC, a local Christian elder of Kotla Punjubaig, Boota Masih, said, “This land was given to our forefathers by the British Rulers before the Indo-Pak partition in 1947, and we had been living here since then.”
Masih described in the news release what happened. He said, “A few days back the hard-line Muslim head of our village, Muhammad Mansha, and his nephews, Akbar Ali, Arif, Asgher Abbas and Muhammad Yousaf, armed with deadly firearms, invaded our homes and forcibly threw us and our household things out of our houses.”
Masih said, “And (they) left us homeless and shelter-less by demolishing our sweet homes.”
According to ICC, Masih and other victims added that Mansha and his nephews had occupied their homes to build a stable for their livestock with permission from officials of the local Land Requisition Department.
Masih said that when they pleaded with Mansha over why he was doing this to them, Mansha responded that the land was given to him by the Land Requisition Department.
ICC said as these families have no other place to live, their belongings are currently strewn along the streets and alleys of the neighborhood.
ICC said that Mansha and his nephews refused to comment, despite ICC’s repeated efforts to contact them.
Masih claimed that police officials had not taken any action to prosecute Mansha or his nephews and had not yet attempted to find the Christians alternate housing, despite the fact that he had appealed to Punjab’s Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif to intervene and provide them homes.
ICC is asking that readers contact the Pakistani embassy in their country and ask them to protect the rights of Christians and all religious minorities.