In order to give cash gifts to the poor, homeless, orphans and widows from Christian community on the eve of Christmas, the Punjab government has released a grant worth Rs30 million. The provincial government is learnt to have empowered all the District Coordination Officers to select the deserving Christians in their respective districts and DCO Zahid Saleem Gondal has formed a committee to evolve a list of to-be-recipients of the grant. Sources said that the list will be handed over to the district administration on Sunday (today). The committee is consisted of Federal Minister Malik Sikandar Hayat Bosan, provincial minister Ch Abdul Waheed Arrain and five representatives each from Catholic and Protestant sects of Christians.

Meanwhile, the DCO issued order for setting up a three-day Christmas bazaar at a Church on Nusratul Islam Road for offering daily use items to the Christians on cheaper rates. Stalls of chicken, mutton and beef, fruits, vegetables and all other daily use items will be set up at the said bazaar. Addressing a meeting held here on Saturday in this regard, the DCO said that all sections of society should join Christians in Christmas celebrations to make them realise that they were equal citizens of this country and they also possessed equal rights. He declared that a foolproof security plan had been evolved for the protection of 33 churches of Multan while a special traffic plan was also being made.