Lahore: Punjab chief Minster Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has announced to enhance the financial assistance from rupees two lakh to whereas Punjab government will bear all expenses of repair of houses and shops set on fire. The Chief Minister said that the repair work of damaged houses has been started and this work will be completed within next four days by carrying out work day and night. He said that strict action is being taken against all mischievous elements involved in this tragic incident and those who instigated over this incident and 131 persons have been arrested. He said that the cases against the persons involved in this barbarism would be sent to Anti-Terrorist Court.
Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif expressed these views while talking to leaders of Christian community, Bishop, Fathers and Members Assembly during a meeting at Model Town today. Provincial Minister for law Rana Sanullah Khan, Senators Pervaiz Rashid and Kamran Michal, members assembly, chief secretary, home secretary, acting Inspector General Punjab and president national council of churches Pakistan Bishop Dr. Azad Marshal were also present on the occasion.
Talking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that the entire nation is ashamed over the tragic incident of barbarism occurred in Joseph Colony Badami Bagh. He said it seems that the sentiments of tolerance, patience and politeness have ended and this tragic incident has tarnished the image of Pakistan. The Chief Minister said that there was no justification of the incident of such barbarism after the arrest of the person against whom allegation has been leveled. Shahbaz Sharif said that he, as a head of provincial government, Punjab government and people of Pakistan particularly people of the province sought apology on this tragic incident from all of Christian community. He said that Punjab government has ordered judicial inquiry of the incident and has written a letter to Registrar Lahore High Court in this regard. He said that immediate action has been taken against the police officers who showed negligence but despite this the feelings of Christian community have hurt and providing relief to them is our top most priority and we will fulfill this obligation by considering it as a challenge. The Chief Minister said that the repair work of houses will be carried out round the clock. He said that a health camp has also been set up for providing treatment facilities to the affected people of the area whereas a committee comprising Members Assembly will monitor the process of provision of financial assistance. Similarly, a committee consisting of Secretary C&W, Director General LDA and DCO Lahore will monitor the process of repair of damaged houses, he added.
The Chief Minister said that Christian community enjoys equal rights in Pakistan and we will protect their rights. He said that Christian community has always played an important role in the progress and development of the country. The Chief Minister directed that the repair work of Church in Joseph Colony be started immediately. He said that such incidents are intolerable in any society and Punjab government will take effective steps for eradication of such inhuman incidents in future. He said that the reaction of Christian community over this barbarism is justified but they should be peaceful while registering their protest. He asked the Christian leaders to motivate their people to remain peaceful and avoid ransacking. He assured that the grievances of Christian community would be redressed and demands of justice would be fulfilled at all costs.
On the occasion, President National Council of Churches Bishop Dr. Azad Marshal said that Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has taken effective steps for consolation of Christian community. He said that it is a general impression that Chief Minister takes stern action, therefore, he appealed him to arrest the persons involved in this traffic incident and announced increase in financial assistance. He said that the Christian community is thankful to the Chief Minister for taking these steps. Father Maani said that Shahbaz Sharif has taken steps by considering the grief of Christians as his own grief and appealed the Christian community to remain peaceful. Other Christian leaders also appreciated immediate and effective steps taken by Chief Minister Punjab upon which the Chief Minister said that during the meeting, Christian leaders have expressed their positive views according to the Pakistani approach.