BY: Shamim Mehmood
Islamabad – Many of you have often seen in the movies how the intelligence agencies assign their people to different places and if they succeed they are equal partners in this success, otherwise they simply disown and enjoy. In past years, we have seen that Lahore Dioceses has been playing the same role as overseers of the Church properties in Pakistan.
This episode will give you an overview, how Bishop of Lahore Dioceses has played a tricky role as Chairman/Executive of Lahore Diocese Trust Association (LTDA). The document reads that on May 22, 2014, Bishop Irfan Jamil as custodian of LTDA, had submitted in the High Court of Baluchistan, Quetta; through his attorney that all properties (list provided) belong to Christian community and as such, the Trust property. It is further certified that nobody including them is authorized to dispose of, sale, alienate, transfer, mortgage, lease out and gift the said properties. This happened when irregularities and misuse of power by Bishop of Karachi, Sadiq Daniel – 68, (who is enjoying the portfolio for the last more than twenty years, which is against the bylaws of Church of Pakistan) were seen in Quetta. Sources said that this is family business of Sadiq Daniel; his extended family members are also involved in selling Church properties in other cities as well.
The practise was same when Bishop Humphrey Peter, Bishop of Peshawar, (now Moderator, Church of Pakistan) with the financial investment of none Christian person constructed 62 commercial shops in Dera Ismail Khan on the Church land and 23 shops within the church compound, to earn more money in 2012. Later due to the strong protest by the congregation, led by Joseph Behader, the local administrations halt the construction work for the time being. But the constructions of the commercial shops were completed though the matter was in the courts and later the Peshawar High Court issued contempt of court notices to Humphrey Peter. The sale and purchase of the said shops are still on and thus adding coins to the pocket of the priest. For his vested interest, Bishop Humphrey Peter lost the ownership of Edward College, Peshawar and indulge in conflict with local administration and Muslims.
The Peshawar Dioceses has submitted an application in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. There is evidence of many such deeds, including Mardan Church etc against Bishop of Peshawar.
These religious leaders are seen distorting not only financial but also moral and religious education for their vested interests. The question is whether the Church of Pakistan, Roman Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church and other religious leaders have taken some serious steps to uplift the poor Christian community or just misused the power.