Vocational Institute for Christian community under threat in the Capital

ISLAMABAD: Vocational Institute for Christian community is under threat right under the nose of Interior Ministry in the Capital. According to the details poverty alleviation through skill program was developed by “Pakistan Development Foundation” (PDF) and launched in 2007 with the self generated funds in the Federal Capital. Students were registered and trained there but when it was become popular in the community. Nadeem Gill, Executive Director (PDF) said that it was running smoothly but some people Umar Afridi, Zabita Khan & Javed Payra from the Khaber PakhtonKhawa (KPK) joined us for the community service. But they had bad intention which later revealed.

Sadly one of them from the Christian community either was deceived or by his own will turned against us. Subsequently this group threatened us and captured the institution in 2009. Mr. Gill told that he has no choice but the courts. After the years struggle in litigation; PDF won the case and taken the charge of the institution in 2015, he added.

Basharat Khokher, coordinator All Church Council, Islamabad said that PDF purchased 12 Kenals land and its twelfth portion was developed for the skill training center. We had threats from Taliban split organizations and later they came in through different ways. But we have struggled hard and our fellow Muslim brother Saqib Ali and others helped us a lot in acquiring the land from the Taliban group. Finally we were able to release the institution from the said group. Saqib Ali shared his experience and said that we have been living with Christian community for years and we have developed good relation and in a favor to create better interaction/harmony.

Though we still have threats from the Taliban group but we believe that victory is ours. Ms. Samina, the instructor at PDF was happy and said it is grace of God that PDF won the case and now we can register new girls for the training. Skill Enhancement and Educational Program (SEEP) is our new program and very soon we will launch it, she added.

In the recent years, attacks on worship places and religious minorities have increased though Pakistan Islamic persecution of Christians’ may not be on the level of ISIS; nonetheless it is still quite horrific. The long sufferings in the country have worsened by a sense of deprivation among the locals, and an inclusive political system is unable to achieve sustainable peace and stability.