LAHORE - Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs, Ejaz Alam Augustine Tuesday said that the provincial government was addressing the welfare of minorities on priority basis, while work had been expedited to complete development projects for Christian communities. The provincial minister expressed these views while addressing a function of distribution relief cheques among Christians community at Tehsil Council Hall Sahiwal, stated a handout issued here.

The minister said that a comprehensive program for security and renovation of churches had been started, while Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar increased the amount of aid for religious minorities from Rs 5000 to Rs 10,000 per person. 

Provincial Minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was taking personal interest in securing all rights of the religious minorities, and to provide them religious freedom ,besides resolving their common issues.

He cited that Christmas was celebrated for the first time at the official level, while the Kartarpur corridor was opened for Sikh community, adding the shrine of Maryamabad was also being opened so that Christians from abroad can visit their sacred place. 

Ejaz Alam Augustine mentioned that around 171 Christians from Sahiwal district were being given cheques of

 Rs 10,000 per person, among whom 111 belonged to Sahiwal and 60 to Chichawatni tehsil.

 He said that Special funds of Rs 40 million were released for improvement and renovation of Christians’ colonies to promote model colonies in the first phase, adding that development work was underway in Yuhanabad at a cost of Rs 300 million. 

At the end of the ceremony provincial minister distributed relief cheques among the beneficiaries. 

Deputy Commissioner Babar Bashir, representatives of religious minorities and local PTI leaders were also present on the occasion.