LAHORE, March 10: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday visited Joseph Colony in Badami Bagh area and announced increasing the financial assistance from Rs200,000 to 500,000 for each affected family.

He also inspected the damaged properties and repair work of the houses and shops by placing a brick. He announced that the work would be completed within four days.

He said a committee consisting of MPs would monitor provision of financial assistance to affected families. Similarly, a committee consisting of the Secretary C&W, the LDA director general and the DCO will monitor the process of repair of damaged houses,.

He also gained information about the facilities being provided at relief camp and directed the district administration to further improve the arrangements for facilitating the victims.

He said strict action was being taken against mischievous elements involved in the incident. He said that the cases against the persons involved in this barbarism would be sent to Anti-Terrorism Court. He said that immediate action had been taken against the police officers who showed negligence but despite this the feelings of Christian community had been hurt and providing relief to them was our top most priority and “we will fulfill this obligation by considering it as a challenge”.

Mr Sharif also met Christian leaders and members of the assembly during a meeting at Model Town.

National Council of Churches Pakistan Chairman Bishop Dr Azad Marshal was also present.

He said the tragic incident should be condemned in the strongest terms and assured the victims that the Punjab government would fulfill all its responsibilities in this regard.

He said there was a need to promote tolerance and forbearance in society and religious leaders and intellectuals should play their due role in this regard.

Mr Sharif said that he, as a head of the provincial government, and on behalf of the people of Pakistan sought apology on this tragic incident from Christians. He said that Punjab government had ordered judicial inquiry had into the incident and has written a letter to the registrar of the Lahore High Court.

Dr Azad Marshal and father Maani praised Mr Sharif.

CHAUDHRY SARWAR: Former British MP and Pakistan Foundation Chairman Chaudhry Sarwar will distribute Rs25,000 to each victim family of the Badami Bagh violence on Tuesday (tomorrow). A delegation of the UK Chambers of Commerce will accompany him on the occasion.

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