Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas bazaars planned

LAHORE: Like Ramadan bazaars, the Punjab government has made a plan to install some ‘Christmas bazaars’ to facilitate the Christian community living in various areas of the provincial capital from December 20. To show solidarity with the minorities in Lahore on December 25, the Punjab government will establish at least 20 stalls in each Christian-populated area as per the plan chalked out, sources in the Home Department said. According to sources, the stalls will be set up in different localities including Youhanabad, Naseerabad, Bahawal Colony, Shahdara, Green Town, Maryam Colony, Nishat Colony, RA Bazaar and Sher Shah Colony in Raiwind. On the other hand, the Christian community seems unsatisfied with the facilities provided by the Punjab government ahead of Christmas. Some representative of the Christian community in the city have also showed some reservations over the government’s plan to install Christian bazaars. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) minority leader Napoleon Qayyum expressing his concerns over the plan said that these stalls were not enough for the 500,000 Christians in the city, and that the government needed to increase the number of stalls. Napoleon slammed the provincial authorities and government planners over this initiative, and said that making the stalls operation from the 20th was unjust. “What preparations can be made in four days?” The PPP leader also claimed that though the government had planned these bazaars, it was being heard that no subsidy was being given at the stalls there, like done at Ramadan bazaars. He demanded that the government should confirm some subsidy on different items at the bazaars for the Christians if it was really sincere to show some solidarity with the minorities. He also urged the government to install the stalls before the 20th so that they have ample time to buy stuff. staff report