The minorities in Pakistan are facing the identical troubles which they were facing before independence.
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) of Islamabad plans to demolish a Christian-majority slum “to protect the beauty of Islam”. The plan was put on hold as the Supreme Court issued the stay order and ordered in a written justification from the CDA ahead of its next planned demolition.
The CDA’s reply to the Supreme Court that.”Most of these katchi abadies [slums] are under the occupation of the Christian community.
The statement added that “shelter is the right of each citizen, but it is also a fact that Islamabad can not accommodate the migrants from all over the country”.
The CDA spokesperson Ramzan Sajid said the organisation enjoyed good relations with the Christian community.
“This community is part of Islamabad and we ensure that we look after their places of worship and their religious events.”
“I can’t comment on the SC [Supreme Court] reply because that is in court now, but we appreciate the community and its effort and our reply has been taken out of context by some.”
Since 2014, The Capital Development Authority (CDA) targeting to eradicate the illegal slums known as “katchi abadis” because of “demographic problems. The people residing in the slums are Christians and Afghan refugees.
The Christians are regularly targeted in the country because of their religion. In 2013 a suicide attack on Peshawar’s All Saints Church killed at least 85 worshippers. This year two churches were bombed in Lahore on Sunday services, which killed 15 people.
Ammar Rashid, secretary of the Awami Workers Party, said the CDA wants to acquire the land on religious grounds. “They want to kill two birds with one stone,” Rashid also added.
“If the demolition goes ahead, it will be a human catastrophe. The CDA is not in a position to be taking decisions about the religious demography of the capital.”
More than 100 illegal houses were demolished, 95 percent of those affected by the demolition were Pashtuns from the northern areas of Pakistan who had been settled in the area for more than 20 years. Some are labourers as well as fruit and vegetable sellers.
When protesters clashed with police during the July demolition and threw stones at the authorities. The police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators. Due to which an infant suffocated to death.
Sajid, the CDA spokesperson, confirmed the latest planned demolition was on hold for now after the court’s order.
Activists, meanwhile, are demanding repurcussions against the development authority after it openly brought religion into play.
Farzana Bari, a human rights activist said, “Action should be taken against whoever drafted the report,” She said
most Christians in Islamabad are sanitary workers a job considered unsuitable for Muslims in the country.
“These poor Christians that the CDA is so scared of are their own employees who work very hard to keep the city clean.”
The city was named as Islamabad “Islamabad, Pakistan. The City of Islam, Land of the Pure.”