Pakistan: Christian village deliberately flooded
September 01, 2010
The Christian village of Khokharabad in the eastern Pakistani province of Punjab has been deliberately flooded, killing at least 15 and leaving 377 residents-- most of them subsistence farmers-- homeless and without means of livelihood.
Local residents say that a local politician oversaw the construction of dams and other barriers in order to save his land from flooding, which in turn caused the destruction of the village. The politician, in turn, attributes the flooding to the local agriculture department.
Residents were not warned of the impending flood.
“It is an inhumane act,” said a village leader. “Our village was flooded on purpose. Dasti [the politician], just to save his own land, preferred to leave 377 people without home or harvest, our only source of livelihood. Now we have nothing.”
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended that the US State Department place the Pakistan on its list of “countries of particular concern” because of egregious violations of religious freedom. The State Department has disregarded the recommendation.
Only 0.07% of the Islamic republic’s 159.6 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics.
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