Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government reiterates strict ban on sales, purchase or transfer of properties belonging to churches. In a letter from the Auqaf, Hajj, Religious and Minority Affair Department replied to the letter submitted by Reverend Jimmy Matthew over illegal sale of the church properties.
The application submitted to the provincial government concerned safeguarding of the Church Trust properties under the Trust Act 1882. The official reply assured prohibition on sales and purchase of the properties under the church trust. “Protection of Communal Properties of Minorities Act 2014 implies for complete ban on the sale, purchase or transfer of properties meant for communal use without NOC,” the letter stated.
It was further stated that the High Court of Peshawar had issued a stay order which prohibited the provincial government to issue NOC regarding sale, purchase or transfer of church trust properties. This stay order was issued on December 1, 2015. The KPK government had called for a legal action those found guilty of breaching the Act, and the High Court of Peshawar’s stay order in this respect.
“It is worthy to mention that the Provincial Government has not issued any NOC for the said purpose in respect of the above mentioned properties meant for communal services; into commercial units which is clear violation of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Protection of Communal Communal Properties of Minorities Act, 2014.