People involved in damaging churches in Sangla Hill arrested, CM tells Archbishop of Canterbury


LAHORE: Christians were playing a commendable role in national development and all minorities in Pakistan would be given rights equal to Muslims, Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi told a delegation led by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams at Chief Minister's Secretariat on Friday.

Elahi said that he had taken stern notice of the desecration of Christians' sacred places in Sangla Hill and the guilty had been arrested. He said that President General Pervez Musharraf had taken measures to safeguard minorities' rights and provide them equal opportunities. Minorities had been given representation in the legislative process, he added.

Elahi said that the Education Sector Reforms Programme had helped improve literacy in the province, which would help curb extremism and eliminate poverty and unemployment.

The chief minister said that Punjab had sent relief supplies worth Rs 2 billion to quake-hit areas. He said that the 'Support a family programme' had been introduced and each donor would provide Rs 6,000 per month to a quake-hit family.

Dr Williams condoled the deaths in the earthquake and praised Punjab for progress in education, health and agriculture. Bishop of Lahore Dr Alexander John Malik was also present.

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