Posted by Abdul Alim
Express Tribune: The Sindh provincial government has moved a step closer to ensuring minority places of worship are protected from the tentacles of the “land mafia”.
“Religious buildings are only supposed to be used for religious purposes,” said
MPA Saleem Khokhar on Monday. “Anyone found violating the [proposed] law could be sent to prison for seven years and slapped with a fine.” If all goes well, the Protection of Religious Minorities Properties Act 2012 would be ready this week.
The Sindh Assembly’s standing committee on local government met on Monday. Minority representatives and law officials attended. The committee’s chairman, Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Munawar Ali Abbasi, urged the authorities to close any loopholes so the bill could be ready for a vote.
Khokhar, who is the chairman of the standing committee on minority affairs, said that the bill would prohibit people from illegally taking control of buildings such as temples, churches and gurdwaras and turning them into commercial establishments. Karachi alone has about 500 churches.