Minorities rights and safeguarding their holy places are priorities: Sarwar

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Lahore:  Punjab Tourism and Heritage Committee, headed by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has decided to chalk out a master plan for the renovation of the most sacred place of the Christian community, ‘’Ziarat Muqaddas Maryam’’. Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar also announced immediate installation of a filtration plant at Maryamabad Church and ordered for expediting the construction of road from Sheikhupura Road to Maryamabad at a cost of Rs 66 million.

According to details, the Religious Tourism and Heritage Committee set up under the chairmanship of Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar is working for the renovation of holy places of all religions across the province to promote religious tourism. Head of the committee, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, during a meeting with the Provincial Minister for Minorities Affairs, Ijaz Alam and other representatives of the Christian community, said that he himself paid an elaborate visit to ‘’Ziarat-e-Muqadas Maryam’’ (Maryamabad) and other places including the church. After doing so, it has been decided that besides renovation of the ‘’Ziarat-e-Muqadas Maryam’’, a master plan will be drawn up to ensure the provision of all facilities for the tourists there including accommodation and other facilities.

Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar further said that the construction work has started on the road from Sheikhupura Road to Maryamabad at a cost of Rs. 66 million while talks are being held with the agencies concerned of the federal government for the provision of electricity and gas. Fortunately, there are holy places of all religions in Pakistan, including Christians and Sikhs, from where we can earn 4/5 billion dollars annually through the promotion of tourism. More than 1.2 million people visit the ‘’Ziarat-e-Muqadas Maryam’’, every year to perform their religious duties. If the ’Ziarat-e-Muqadas Maryam’’ has all the basic facilities for tourists, then the number of visitors will definitely increase.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said that protection of life and property of minorities living in Pakistan and their religious holy places is the responsibility of our government which we will ensure at any cost. There is no doubt that Pakistan is the safest country for minorities where according to the ideology of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, minorities are given religious freedom and protection.