Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Christians go to court for protection

ISLAMABAD, April 4: An Emmanuel Church Committee on Monday moved a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), asking for protection and security as it plans to construct a church in sector G-8/2.

IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman is likely to take up on Tuesday the petition filed by the committee through Nazir Masih, its president.
Making chairman Capital Development Authority, Inspector General and Senior Superintendent of Islamabad police respondents, the committee through its lawyer Abdul Hafeez Amjad prayed to the court for security for construction of the church on a “lawfully allotted plot”.
In the petition, Pastor Masih has maintained that certain “extremist elements” have been averse to the construction of the church, adding that he felt threatened.
According to the petition, the CDA on October 22, 2002 allotted a plot measuring 100 x 200 square yards near PARC Colony for the construction of church for the followers of the Emmanuel Church in Islamabad.Pastor Masih applied for the plot way back in 1972.
He got the physical possession of the plot in October 2002.
When the committee submitted construction plan of the church with the Capital Development Authority for final approval, the petition said some “practical difficulties such as threats of cancellation of the allotted plot” started emerging.
It said cases were filed against the construction of the church. But all cases have been dismissed by the courts, the petition said.
An appeal against the dismissal of cases had also been turned down on July 30, 2005.
But the petition said after clearing all legal hurdles whenever the petitioner started construction work, “either its construction material was removed or the deployed labour was threatened by the some persons from nearby mosque.”
Meanwhile, Justice Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi of the Islamabad High Court reserved verdict on a bail plea of Raja Aftab-ul-Islam, a former joint secretary of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, in the Haj scam case.
Raja Aftab has been accused of being co-signatory with Rao Shakeel, former DG Haj, of all contracts for hiring expensive and ill-equipped residences for Pakistani pilgrims.
In his bail plea, the former secretary has maintained that Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) could not find any evidence against him in the case as no abnormal transaction had been traced through his accounts.