While the rest of the world was busy celebrating the new year, Pakistan’s land mafia and Sukkur police were planning an attack on the Christian residents of Mission Compound in Sukkur (Pakistan)

According to Mr Munawar Gill a resident and an ex officer of the Hyderabad diocese, the property is owned by the Hyderabad Diocese, Church of Pakistan, but some people got false documentation and claimed a right to this property.

Unfortunately getting of such documents in exchange for some money is not a difficult task in Pakistan.

According to Mr Gill on 21st December some police officers came and asked for proof and in what capacity they were living, and if they could not show any documentation they would be thrown out. The land mafia is very powerful in Pakistan and especially in Sindh where they grab such properties and then develop and sell them for high profits.

Mr Gill further told how on the New Year’s eve about 20 people, some wearing police uniforms and some in civil dress, started knocking at on our doors and as soon as they were answered started beating the resident with clubs. According to Mr Gill women and children were mistreated and about 20 people including children and women were injured while professor Suleman Sohail, who teaches physical education in Sukkur college, had his legs broken. His son was also severely injured.

After the incident on 1st January Christian residents of Mission Compound went to the Section-B, police station to register their complaint and told them to return the following day to register the FIR (first information report).

The residents decided to protest against the police treatment and the government failing to provide them with adequate protection. About 4500 people gathered together from other parts of Sukkur too and protested in front of the Sukkur press club on New Year’s day.

Mr Nasir Saeed, Director of CLAAS-UK condemned this horrific and brutal action of the police and said it is very sad that such an horrific incident took place on new year’s eve, while Christians were still in the Christmas spirit and were preparing for the New Year’s church mass. He said all churches’ properties are located at prime locations throughout Pakistan and the land mafia is after most of it. There are several such cases ongoing in Pakistan.

“The land Mafia grabs or buys these properties very cheap from the pseudo owners and then develop them and sell them for the large profits. This is not the only church property but there are several church properties throughout Pakistan that have ownership disputes and cases are going on in courts for years.

“Sadly, Christians are the most suffering community in Pakistan and every day we see reports in the media about their suffering, but the government is not willing to pay any attention while Christian representatives are proving good for nothing.”

Mr Saeed has expressed his hope that Sindh Government and chairman of the Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will take stern action against the police’s illegal action and punish according to the law those who are responsible.

“Also I hope the residents will be compensated and will be assured of no such action against them in the future by the police.”