Faisalabad: The Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP), a non-government organisation (NGO) from Pakistan, raised its voice on Sunday, for the protection of minorities, their properties, and worship places, the HRPF said in a statement.

The NGO expressed severe concern, highlighting the recent attacks on churches, Hindu temples, Ahmadiyya's mosques, and minority towns and the grabbing of agricultural land, homes, graveyards, and worship places, among other properties.

The violations are increasing day by day, but there are no strategies or policies to stop such violations, HRFP added.

The most recent example of land grabbing was that of 70-year-old "Azam Khan, who was a Christian from Jhang district. His agricultural land was grabbed and the court ordered ownership, but he is under threats to step back."

The land was possessed by the area's landlords with the support of religious and political figures like Muhammad Ifran and Muhammad Riaz, who directly warned Azam Khan that a Christian could not be a landlord in their area.

The local authorities also helped and provided aid to those who grabbed the land, Azam Khan alleged.

Further, the HRPF release stated that Azam Khan's land ownership is rooted in 1995, when he bought it after completing all legal processes with the local government.

After a few years of gaining ownership, his problems started with the local religious and political bodies.

Since 2013, Azam Khan's land grabbing case has been in a court's proceedings, while the perpetrators, Muhammad Irfan and Muhammad Riaz, have been growing sugar cane and other crops in the fields after grabbing that.

After longer court proceedings, the Lahore High Court this year directed local authorities to implement the rights of ownership to Azam Khan but there have been no developments yet due to the influence of the perpetrators.

Azam Khan visited the HRFP office and alleged that the local authorities helped the perpetrators grab his land as he was a Christian.

According to the Lahore High Court's direction, the District Officer/Deputy Commissioner called both parties on April 3, 2024 where Azam Khan appeared with legal counsel M Zafar Iqbal and HRFP team, but still there are no developments.

During a previous hearing in March, Azam Khan was threatened to not come for next hearing if he and his family wanted to avoid any consequences, like blasphemy allegations or any other kind of religious persecution.

As per the release, Khan is now scared to go to the next hearing on April 28 at the Lahore High Court.

Naveed Walter, president of HRFP, said in a statement that the land grabbing of minorities is an old issue in Pakistan, as many such incidents have occurred in the past.

Particularly the Christians, Hindu's and Ahamdiyya's homes, worship places, graveyards and other properties have been occupied, vandalised, and blazed.

The easiest way for them is to get their permanent possessions by establishing a religious building on the lands and properties occupied by them, he added.

Walter noted that the HRFP has experienced many cases, like the D-type colony Faisalabad graveyard case, where the court order has not been implemented yet.

He added, "Fact-findings reports revealed the series of recent cases reported from the fields by HRFP's volunteers, regional coordinators and came through HRFP's REAT Helpline (0800 09494). As per HRFP's Report of the Year 2023, out of 905 phone calls; 866 phone calls have brought cases of religious persecution with blasphemy (295 A/B/C of ppc ), abductions, forced conversions & forced marriages, murders/attacks, mob violence and religious discrimination, including the land grabbing issues."

Recently, on Good Friday, after the services got over in the evening, some religious extremists set ablaze a church in Gujar Khan, Rawalpindi district.

Moreover, on July 16, 2023, a Hindu temple was attacked and vandalised with a rocket launcher in Kashmore district. Additionally, on September 8 last year, Ahmadiyya's mosque was demolished in Shahdara town, Lahore.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed