RAWALPINDI: Members of a Christian organisation here on Thursday staged a protest against a parliamentarian of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for allegedly occupying a land reserved for a church and a community hospital on IJ Principal Road.
Over 200 members of the Joint Christian Action Committee (JCAC) blocked the busiest Benazir Bhutto Road near Liaqat Bagh for over three hours and chanted slogans against member of the National Assembly (MNA) Malik Abrar Ahmed and revenue officials for occupying the land for a church and Saint Joseph Hospital.
They were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the MNA, accusing him of land grabbing and demanding the land’s evacuation and removal of an assistant commissioner as well as a tehsildar (revenue officer).
The enraged protesters, including women, and elderly men blocked the main artery of the city at around 3:30pm, creating a traffic mess.
The protesters also chanted slogans against PML-N President Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Rawalpindi District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar and revenue officials.
Addressing the protesters, JCAC Rawalpindi-Islamabad chief Akram Waqar Gill said that the land mafia has made their lives a “hell” and now they are occupying their worship places and hospitals without any fear.
He threatened to commit suicide by immolating himself if the land was not evacuated from the grabs of the MNA.
The representative of the protesters alleged that the MNA was enjoying the support of the DCO, City Police Officer and officials of the provincial land and revenue department.
They demanded of the provincial chief minister to take action against the MNA on an immediate basis.
When contacted, the MNA denied all the charges levelled against him, saying, “All office bearers of JCAC are fraudsters and falsely implicating him in the case.”
Talking to media persons, the MNA said that a person named Zaman Cheema, along with JCAC President Akram Gill, purchased documents of a five-kanal land from some party in Misrial and later approached him to help occupy it.
Ahmed said the purchasers only possessed documents for a piece of land that existed nowhere in the area.
“I turned down their proposal, which is why they are on roads and levelling baseless allegations against me. I have nothing to do with the case.”
Ahmed alleged that Cheema was “a notorious land grabber as he had also grabbed the land of a church in Gordon College and later used his [MNA’s] name.
“Now again Gill and Cheema are on roads for damaging my credibility. By doing so, JCAC wanted to grab the land which neither exists anywhere nor in their name. I will file a defamation suit against JCAC soon,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2012.