Rs2m approved for each affected family of Jaranwala: CM

FAISALABAD (APP) : Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi said that Rs.2 million was approved as compensation for each Christian family affected by riots in Jaranwala three days ago.

Addressing a meeting at ACE Church Isa Nagri Jaranwala here on Sunday, he said that Pakistan was a motherland for every Pakistani including Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Hindus and the government would support and help every oppressed person. He said that he along with his cabinet members had come here to express solidarity with the Christian community as the Jaranwala incident was a major tragedy for all.

“My team had been working for the last three days for early rehabilitation of affected families. In this connection, it had a number of meetings with the Christian community and the government promised to provide justice to the affectees at every cost”, he added.

He said that the Secretary Communication and Works along with his team had started work for the rehabilitation of the churches yesterday and two churches had so far been fully restored while restoration work of the rest of the churches was in full swing.

He announced that he would not take rest until all the churches were completely restored although he had to visit Jaranwala repeatedly for the purpose. He said that the government had promised to restore all churches affected in the Jaranwala incident to their original condition and this work would definitely be completed on a war-footing according to the will and aspiration of Christian people. “Complete rehabilitation of Christian affectees and provision of justice to them was not just a statement but it would be seen obviously as a real action,” he assured.

He said that Islam had taught us to protect the rights of non-Muslims. “The letter of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) which he wrote to the Christian community was a beacon for us.

“In this letter, the Muslims were instructed to take care of the rights of the Christian community and this order remained in force till the Day of Judgment. Therefore, it was our religious obligation to follow the commandment given to us by our beloved Holy Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) because it was the greatest commandment for us,” he added.

On this occasion, the caretaker Chief Minister urgently called a meeting of his cabinet inside the church and the cabinet secretary presented its one-point agenda for financial assistance to compensate the affectees of the Jaranwala tragedy.

The meeting unanimously approved a financial assistance of Rs.2 million for each affected family and the caretaker Chief Minister announced the provision of cheques of financial aid to the affectees within the next couple of days.

Earlier, the Punjab Chief Minister along with all provincial ministers reached the AEC Church in Isa Nagri and participated in a prayer ceremony to express solidarity with the Christian community. A special prayer was also offered in the church for the integrity, solidarity, progress and prosperity of Pakistan.

Ground floor of the AEC Church has been opened for worship after completing its rehabilitation and renovation.

Provincial Minister Kamran Michael, Khalil Tahir Sindhu, Bishop Azad Marshall, Church pastor Salim Arif, leading personalities of the Christian community, Chief Secretary, Inspector General of Police, Additional Chief Secretary Home, Secretaries, Divisional Commissioner Faisalabad, RPO, CPO and Deputy Commissioner were also present.