PAKISTAN: Christian families living in Landikotal on Tuesday demanded of the federal and provincial governments to allocate funds to purchase land and construct their own homes in Landikotal tehsil.
Speaking with The Daily Vendor Newspaper, Pakistan Minority Alliance excutive committee member and Landikotal Christians community elder Malik Arshad Masih said that they had sent letters to Prime minister Imran Khan and provinvical chief minister Mehmood Khan demanding them to establish a residential colony for minorities residing in Landikotal for the last several decads.
He said in two separate letters the Khyber Christian community contended that more than 300 minority families were residing in government quarters established in Jamrud and Landikotal administrations compounds.
Arshad Masih said some of the Christian families also living in the houses situated inside military cantonment in Landikotal since the creation of Pakistan. He said few minorities who could pay Rs0.5 million were alloted homes in the newly established colony while the rest remained without their own homes in Landikotal.
Arshad Masih said their forefathers had settled down in different tribal districts in 1914 and had never been given the right to own personal properties as they were either considered outsiders or the local people were not willing to sell them their properties.
The Minority elder said now they were issued category (B) domiciles, they were entitled to all the basic rights including ownership of properties and a separate quota in the government jobs along with a share in development funds.
Malik Arshad Masih said former political administration of erstwhile Khyber Agency had purchased some land for setting up a residential colony for Christians but only 21 houses measuring only five marla each were constructed so far.
He said with an increase in the christians population and a very small size of their houses residing in they had to compromise on their privacy as 15 to 20 persons were living in each house. He added that most of the Christians’ houses were comprised of one-room home which were not only small but very congested.
He demanded of the governments to release adequate funds for purchase of land and then construction of houses for almost every minority family currently resident in Khyber.
Malik Arshad Masih also demanded of the Jamrud administration to divert sewerage drain from their Church and residential compound as the sewerage water not only entered their houses but also to their worship place.
When contacted member of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly and social worker Wilson Wazir said at the time of erstwhile Khyber agency they had purchased a piece of land worth Rs,10 million and constructed houses on it. He said 21 Christian families were alloted their fresh homes in Landikotal on need base. He pleged that he also have another piece of purchased land to construct houses for minorities in Landikotal.
MPA said he was working with different officials and departments concern to construct more houses for the remaining deserving minorties in Landikotal.