Pakistan: Christians insist on justice for assets purloined from YMCA

The Young Men’s Christian Association was registered as a welfare organization in Pakistan on January 14, 1913. In the year 1964, some members of the YMCA got the Karachi branch registered under the Social Welfare Act in the seaport metropolis. Latter it was shown that YMCA and YMCA Karachi had merged. In 2005, YMCA President Kashif Khalid got YMCA Karachi registered under the Societies Act 1860 and made it a member of the joint stocks and tried to take over the original YMCA.

On October 2, 2005 a petition was filed against YMCA President Khalid alleging that he was trying to take over the original YMCA. Khalid`s lawyer, Qazi Khalid, filed an appeal against the petition made against his client. On October 6, 2005, his appeal was discarded, while the Nazir (an officer of the High Court) Sindh High Court ( SHC)  ordered a take-over  of YMCA property and accounts, and that an election for the Presidency be conducted under his supervision in 60 days, in accordance with the Social Welfare Act, petition No. 39/1993.

However,  the Nazir failed to conduct the election and instead supported Kashif Khalid and his associates.

Member Provincial Assembly member Saleem Khokhar filed an appeal at the SHC on January 30, 2009 that the Nazir had failed to conduct the election and was supporting the current president who is involved in illegal leasing of the YMCA property, and has taken all the money in the YMCA accounts.

Justice Qazi Khalid had become a judge for the case which he a lawyer in 2005, in which he was counsel to YMCA President Kashif Khalid. He instructed the Nazir to follow the order of conducting the election.
 Saleem Khokhar filed another appeal to the Supreme Court Karachi Registry, Appeal No. 185/2009, and asked that the election be conducted under Social Welfare Act. He argued that the YMCA is not a non-governmental organization, but a welfare organization.


On February 3, 2010 Justice Ifthikhar Chaudhry, Justice Rehmat Hussain Jaffery, and Justice Ghulam Rabbani restored the orders of 2005 and set aside the rest of the proceedings. Kashif Khalid stood up in the court to announce that he is the rightful president of the YMCA. Saleem Khokhar said that if the orders of 2005 are restored, then he would become the rightful YMCA by default since Khalid’s presidency would cease to be valid.

On February 20, 2010 Khokhar filed Application No. 2192/2010, noting that the list of YMCA membership is according to the Societies Act of 1861. Whereas the original YMCA is a welfare organization registered under Social Welfare act, the list must be updated under the Social Welfare Act and then the election be conducted for YMCA and YMCA Karachi to be separated from the original YMCA.

Kashif Khalid`s father Khalid Mehmood and 11 others threatened the Nazir SHC Moen Ahmed and illegally took over YMCA and forcefully conducted the election to get Kashif Khalid elected. On March 1, 2010 the Nazir Ahmed informed the SHC that he has been threatened and YMCA has been illegally occupied. Chief Justice SHC asked for the report of the incident.

On October 28, 2010, a report was presented to the SHC that the YMCA property was illegally occupied, the Nazir was threatened, and the election was conducted against the orders of the SHC and Supreme Court. The original YMCA is registered under Social Welfare Act and the Section 12/13, which clearly states that without the approval of a 2/3rd majority the current board cannot be dissolved, and that the property belongs to YMCA, not YMCA Karachi.

Saleem Khokhar stated that the list be updated and the election be conducted as instructed by the court and the current president be tried for misconduct. However, Kashif Khalid filed Appeal no. 225/2011 to the Supreme Court, arguing that he is the rightful president and that there is no need for an election.  Khokhar offered the argument that Kashif Khalid and Farrukh Harrison have taken 61,8000,225 Pakistani rupees ( Over 6 Million) (6,581,794 US / 45,568 Pounds ) during the illegal occupation of the YMCA property.

On  May 31, 2012, Kashif Khalid`s appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court, which ordered that the election be conducted under Social Welfare act 29. Commenting on the reference report given by the, Additional Director anti-corruption Khawaja Saeed alleged that Kashif Khalid, Alvin Manzoor, Safina Javed, Zafar J. Shakti, Saleem Gill, Farrukh Harrison and Ansar Javed were involved in corruption, illegal occupation, and fraudulent activities under section 30CP2005/675/76. The appellants insist that the assets must be returned to YMCA immediately and the money that was taken must be recovered and the alleged culprits be arrested.


MPA Saleem Khokhar, who is the leader of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance Sindh, congratulated the Christian community on the Supreme Court’s orders, which followed legal wrangling which began in 2005 and that finally concluded on May 31, 2012.

Saleem Khokhar has received threats from various religious extremists for raising his voice against the marginalized. But he stood firm for his community and to carry out the vision of Shahbaz Bhatti, the fallen Pakistani Minister of Minority Affairs who was assassinated by Muslim extremists in February 2011.

Rodrick Samson writes from Pakistan.
 

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