Irked by large scale corruption and the unabated trend of occupation of properties left by Hindus across Pakistan after the 1947 partition, the Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) has asked the government to conduct a thorough probe into the matter.
“Illegal occupation and corruption related to properties owned by minorities occurred due to the appointment of non-Hindu chiefs of the multi-billion-rupee Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) in the past,” PHC said after a meeting of the council.
PHC has proposed appointing former Supreme Court judge Rana Bhagwandas as the chairman of ETPB. The government recently appointed Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Siddiq Al-Farooq as the new ETPB chief.
PHC, in a statement, said the Liaqat-Nehru Agreement of 1950 binds the government to appoint someone from the Hindu community as the head of ETPB.
“Appointing a non-Hindu person, Syed Asif Hashmi, as ETPB chairman during the last PPP government resulted in large scale corruption regarding minorities’ properties,” it said.
During the meeting, participants also requested patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani who is an MNA of the ruling party, to play his due role to ensure the implementation of the Liaqat-Nehru Agreement.
Kumar told The Express Tribune that he had provided a file with proofs of corruption to the federal minister for religious affairs and asked him to appoint a probe commission. However, the issue has been put on a back burner and no step has been taken so far.
“Pakistan Hindu Council is quite hopeful that if Rana Bhagwandas is appointed as chairman of ETPB, then corruption cases of minorities will be dealt with and income generated by the board could be used for the development and prosperity of Pakistan,” said PHC President Chela Ram Kewlani.