Pakistan Christian Congress has strongly condemned the acquisition of land by the provincial government for the Orange Line Metro Train project. In keeping with an official statement issued by the Lahore Development Authority, some part of the property of two churches will be acquired for the project.
In keeping with the statement by a spokesperson of Lahore Development Authority, some land of Saint Paul’s Presbyterian Church and Saint Andrew’s Church will be acquired for the Orange Line Metro Train project. President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC – Nazir S. Bhatti strongly denounced the handout issued by Punjab Government on demolition of Church properties for Orange Line Train Project in Lahore.
The handout which was issued on May 4, 2016 by the Directorate General Public Relations by Government of Punjab, Lahore, plainly declared “18 Marla of Church land and 18 Meters of Boundary wall of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church near Bohar Chowk will be utilized for stairways of Orange Line Train Project Station.” This land will not be restored to the church. Additionally, about 1.5 Canal of land and 60 meters of boundary wall of St. Andrew Church at Nabha Road, Lahore will also be acquired for this project.
The PCC head stated that expropriation of land of Saint Paul’s Church is blatant sacrilege of the church which is not tolerable for the Christians. “To build stairway for Orange Train Project Station in boundary of Church will create law and order situation for Christian worshipers of St. Paul’s Church during Sunday Services and other religious rituals when Thousands of Muslim passengers will get on get down from train during prayers from premises” he said.
Meanwhile he called upon the Christian leadership of Lahore to have a look at the handout of Punjab government very cautiously; and decide their future line of action to safeguard the properties of the Saint Paul’s Church and Saint Andrew’s Church. He urged the Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif to avoid acquisition of the Saint Paul’s Church land for the stairway to railway station of Orange Line Train Project. He suggested that the railway station could be shifted to Bohar Chowk road instead of using the church property.