PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister, Ameer Haider Khan Hoti inspected the Mardan church, which was set ablaze in protests on last Friday.
The chief minister announced Rs 30 million for repair and reconstruction of the church. The chief minister said that elements who burnt the church were involved in conspiracies of damaging religious harmony.
He said that all these conspiracies would be thwarted with unity and concord. He said Islam teaches the message of peace and tranquility and grants fall freedom to followers of other religious to practice their religion. He said that followers of other religious have equal rights in Pakistan. He said that people responsible for the incident would be given exemplary punishment.
He was addressing the Christian community on premises of the church at Mardan on Tuesday. MNA Himayat Ullah Mayar, MPAs Asif Bhatti and Haji Ahmad Khan Bahadar, ANP District President Farooq Akram Khan, General Secretary Imran Manduri, district authorities, Ulemas and large number of Christian’s brother were also present on the occasion. The chief minister was apprised of damages to the church on the occasion.
The chief minister termed the incident extreme brutality and said that it was highly condemnable. He said that the Muslims have every right of peaceful protest on eve of Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool (PBUH) and followers of other religions were also along with the government and people of Pakistan. He said that unfortunately some miscreants not only damaged valuable property but also devastated the church of Christian community. He said that these elements have earned bad name for the country and Islam. He said that these elements could not escape law. He assured the Christian community for better and beauteous repair and reconstruction of the church, and that he will soon lay its foundation stone. He said that the church would be given extension. He directed the concerned authorities for ensuring reconstruction and repair of the church in consultation with elders of the Christian community. He termed minorities as an integral part of Pakistan and expressed sorrow and apology over the incident. He said that we were required to maintain religious harmony and thwart conspiracies of anti-state elements. He said that Islam doesn’t permit its followers to damage worshipers of other religion and their sacred places.