Islamabad: Christians in the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi have protested against the alleged occupation of land reserved for a church and a community hospital by a PML-N parliamentarian.
Over 200 members of the Joint Christian Action Committee blocked the busy Benazir Bhutto Road near the Liaqat Bagh ground for over three hours yesterday and shouted slogans against Malik Abrar Ahmed, a member of the National Assembly or lower house of parliament.
The Christians blamed the lawmaker and revenue officials for occupying the land on IJ Principal Road that was set aside for a church and Saint Joseph Hospital.
They carried banners and placards inscribed with slogans against Ahmed, accusing him of land grabbing, The Express Tribune reported today.
The protestors demanded that the land be vacated and an assistant commissioner and a tehsildar or revenue officer should be removed from their post.
The protesters, including women and elderly men, shouted slogans against PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and officials.
Addressing the protesters, JCAC leader Akram Waqar Gill said the land mafia has made their lives "hell" and they were occupying Christian shrines and hospitals without any fear.
He threatened to commit suicide by immolating himself if the land was not returned to the community.
The protesters alleged the lawmaker enjoyed the support of civil and police officials. They further demanded that the Chief Minister should take action against the MNA immediately.
Ahmed denied the charges levelled against him and said: "All office bearers of JCAC are fraudsters and falsely implicating me in the case."
He contended that Gill and another man purchased documents for the land and later approached him to help occupy it.
"I turned down their proposal, which is why they are on the roads and levelling baseless allegations against me. I have nothing to do with the case," Ahmed said.