LAHORE: Leading business persons and city government officials on Tuesday launched a Safe Charity Campaign to share a message with the general public that they must use their charity carefully and with all responsibility so that their donations couldn’t be used against the country.

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and the Lahore City Metropolitan Corporation jointly organised the campaign to create awareness and sensitivity among different sections of the society, as the volume of donations routinely increases during Ramazan.

Sharing his views with the gathering, LCCI President Abdul Basit said that the month of Ramazan teaches us to develop our society as healthy and loving. He urged the people to spend generously to support the needy and deserving people. “We want to share a message with our people that they must use their charity carefully and with all responsibility,” he said.

“We must remember that our donations shouldn’t be used against our people and our country,” he said. “We have to make our country a safer place to live besides reducing contributions to a cause that inversely affects peace efforts,” he said, and urged the people to make special arrangements to assist the poor and deserving people living in their surroundings.

Prominent religious scholar Prof Dr Khalid Zaheer said that everyone must contribute carefully and donate for deserving and needy. “Charity is never obligatory but it is always additional. There is a noticeable increase in charitable work during the holy month,” he said.

He said that all people must stand firmly in rejection of the voices that seek to divide the nation or limit religious freedoms or civil rights. “So everyone keep in mind that they use their charity sensibly,” he said. It is pertinent to mention here that there are active awareness campaigns to lead people to sensitize about the sensitivity involved in this noble cause.

Speaking on the occasion, Peace and Secular Studies Executive Director Diep Saeeda pointed out that Pakistanis donate an estimated amount of Rs650 billion annually in charity, according to a nationwide study on charity trends. “Only two percent believe that charity funds are misused while rests are not aware where their donation is spent,” she said.