LAHORE     -   A delegation of the National Commission for Minority Rights (NCMR) led by Dr Shoaib Suddle called on Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar at his office and discussed matters relating to welfare of minorities.

The meeting decided to compile data of non-Muslim employees from across the province.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that Punjab is being made an exemplary province with regard to protection of minority rights. He said the Punjab minority package would prove to be an exemplary programme with regard to minorities’ welfare. “Youhana Abad will be made a model area with an amount of Rs300 million,” he said.

The chief minister ordered appointment of a provincial focal person to solve issues relating to minorities. He said that employees belonging to minority communities will be given official holidays on their religious days. He pointed out that non-Muslim students were being given educational scholarships worth Rs25 million while another amount of Rs25 million will be distributed among non-Muslim research scholars and postgraduate students as scholarships.

The chief minister said that a proposal to exempt non-Muslim students from appearing in competitive examinations during their religious festivals will be considered. He said that land reserved for minorities in the province is being retrieved from squatters. He told police officers to check security of churches. He said that grant of dual voting right to minorities in the local bodies elections is a praiseworthy step of the Punjab province. He pointed out that non-Muslim students are being imparted technical training on scholarships in collaboration with six different chambers of commerce, adding that non-Muslim prisoners will be given remission in sentences for reading their religious books.

Dr Shoaib Suddle apprised the chief minister about objectives of the commission and added that Punjab will emerge as a model with regard to protection of rights and provision of facilities to non-Muslim communities.

MNA Ramesh Kumar, Saqib Jillani, Provincial Minister Ijaz Alam, ACS (Home), administrative secretaries and others attended the meeting.

10M FOR TREATMENT OF DESERVING PATIENTS

On the directions of Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Rs10 million has been issued for treatment of four deserving patients suffering from bone marrow and liver diseases.  Rs2.68 million has been provided to Javed Akhtar of Husnain Bakhsh Park Lahore for liver transplant. He is under treatment at Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore. Rs2.68 million has been released for liver transplant of Muhammad Saleem of Chak No.157 WB, Vehari. This patient is also under treatment at Shaikh Zayed Hospital.

An amount of Rs2.68 million has been provided to Ghulam Zakiya of Ganj Bazar, Lalpul Mughalpura, Lahore for her liver treatment at Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore. Rs2.3 million has been given to Noorzada of Rawalpindi for bone marrow treatment. He is under treatment at the Armed Forces Bone Marrow Transplant Centre, Rawalpindi.

In a statement, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said that healing the wounds of the ailing humanity is a noble cause and assured that all possible cooperation will be extended for the treatment of deserving patients. “I will continue to heal the wounds of the ailing humanity as long as I am bestowed by Allah Almighty,” he added.

MESSAGE ON DAY OF TOLERANCE

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has said the religion of Islam stresses for promoting the norms of tolerance and harmony in the society and it is the need of the hour that these norms should be promoted because intolerance creates societal disorder. In his message, the chief minister said that a peaceful society can be formed by promoting the norms of tolerance, brotherhood and harmony and added that educational institutions play an important role in this regard. There is a need to encourage and promote inter-religious harmony in the society, he added.

The purpose of celebrating this day is to highlight the importance of societal norms based on the principles of harmony, tolerance and brotherhood and we should also make a commitment to play our active role in this regard, the chief minister concluded.

CM TAKES NOTICE

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has taken notice of a news item about the illness of 19 years old Hamza of Garri Shahu and sought a report from the health department. He has directed to take immediate steps and assured that Punjab government will bear the treatment expenses.

CM CONDOLES LOSS OF LIVES

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has expressed a deep sense of sorrow over the loss of precious human lives due to lightening from the sky in Tharparkar and other areas of Sindh province. He extended sympathies to the bereaved families and prayed for the early recovery of the injured.

CM condoles death of brother of Athar Masood: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has condoled the death of brother of Athar Masood, senior journalist of daily Jang and extended sympathies to the bereaved family. He prayed that may Allah Almighty rest the departed soul in eternal peace.