LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has greeted the Christian community on Easter.

In his message, he said the purpose of Easter is to spend time and share pleasantries with deserving people. “The Christian community is peace loving and we respect them and share their joys,” he said. He said Easter is the time to guide the humanity to welfare of humanity and promote pious qualities. “Islam teaches us to respect all prophets and we believe in all prophets, including Hazrat Essa (AS) as this is part of our faith. Brotherhood, harmony and forgiving are teachings of Hazrat Essa (AS),” he said.

Buzdar said the Christian community has rendered valuable services for the development and progress of Pakistan. He said the Christian community is rendering praiseworthy services in fields of education and service of humanity. He said all minorities in Pakistan enjoy equal rights. “Pakistan is the country of all of us and all citizens have equal rights. The provision of fundamental rights, protection of life and property and equal opportunities for minorities are the responsibilities of the state. We do not need to engage in the debate of minority and majority, and should work jointly for the progress and solidarity of the country. We should resolve to work for harmony and solidarity of the country,” he said.

MINISTER PROMISES REMISSION OF SENTENCE

Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Ijaz Alam has felicitated the Christian community on Easter and said the government has announced holiday on Monday (April 22) for Christians so that they can enjoy their religious festival with their families. “Advance salaries are being paid to all Christians employees before the arrival of Easter,” he said.

Easter gives the message of unity, peace and love, the minister said. He said that law enforcement agencies across Punjab would ensure foolproof security on Easter.

Under the minority empowerment package, he said, two percent quota would be given to minorities in professional and higher education institutions and minority prisoners would get remission like Muslim prisoners get on special occasions like Eid.

The minister said that a bill has been passed and now minority prisoners can read their holy books like Bible, Gita and Granth Sahib as Muslims prisoners read their holy book. He said that steps are being taken to remove hate material from the curriculum.

Ejaz said that agreements are being signed with different technical institutions to give skilled training to around 8000 minority children all over Punjab every year. “To promote tourism in Punjab, a comprehensive strategy is being prepared. International standard centres will be set up in Taxila as well as at Cathedral Church and Church of Pakistan in Lahore,” he added.