Christians claim they were told to vacate land just on a day's notice
Over 800 poor Christians in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore have been forced to live on the roads with no immediate hope of having a shelter of their own after local authorities demolished their homes located in a slum early Saturday morning, with the Christians claiming that they were given just a day’s notice to vacate the land.
Residents of Gaju Matta slum in Ittehad Colony, located along the Rohi Nullah, said they had been living on the land since 1998, when they were forced out of their previous dwelling in the Sabzazar area to make way for a housing society.
The Kachhi Abadi (slums) regulations state that no slum can be demolished without providing alternate housing to the dwellers. Any settlement of over 40 houses built before 2006 qualifies as a Kachhi Abadi, and the Gaju Matta slum fulfilled that criterion with over 150 houses.
However, on Saturday the Nishtar Town municipal authorities reached the locality with bulldozers and started demolishing the homes of the poor Christians, claiming that they had orders to make way for an alternate road to the nearby fruit and vegetable market.
“We were in the process of dragging out our belongings when the bulldozers arrived…the authorities did not even give us time to pack our stuff properly and started demolishing our homes,” Pervaiz Masih, a resident, said.
However, army bunkers and a church located in the area were not demolished after the residents said they would not tolerate desecration of their church. To read more, click here.