In Pakistan Muslims built a market over a Christian cemetery, including shops, homes and toilets.
A cobbler began mending shoes by the edge of a Christian graveyard in Kot Addu in Muzaffargarh. Since he was making an honest living, most people did not mind his little setup near the five-kanal graveyard which had rows and rows of crosses, marking graves from the local community. Every Sunday, families including that of Waseem Shakir would make their way to pay their respects to the elders who had passed away before them.
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The cobbler slowly set up a permanent shop and a vegetable seller joined him. Overnight, it seemed to the community, their graveyard was turning into a local market. By 1999, over 50 shops had been constructed over graves. The crosses were replaced with the tea and milk shops and even small houses.
“Imagine, someone’s bathroom now sits on top of my ancestral graves,” Waseem Shakir tells us as he walks through the area, pointing to shops.
Waseem has been waging this war for well over a decade. The Christian community is poor and at times scared to raise their voice.
Pakistani Christians are frequently abused in Pakistan.