Catholic bishops meet Pakistan PM, donate to dam funds

Delegation spoke to Khan about issues concerning Pakistani Christians and highlighted the good work undertaken by the Church
Catholic bishops meet Pakistan PM, donate to dam funds

Pakistan’s Catholic bishops meet with Prime Minister Imran Khan on July 4 and donate towards the construction of two water reservoirs. (Photo courtesy of the Press Information Department/Govt. of Pakistan)

ucanews.com reporter, Islamabad
Pakistan
July 5, 2019
A delegation from the Pakistan Catholic Bishops Conference (PCBC) met Prime Minister Imran Khan on July 4 and handed him a check for US $35,250 for the construction of water reservoirs on behalf of the minority community.

The delegation, facilitated by a Christian Member of the National Assembly, Jamshed Thomas, included PCBC president Archbishop Joseph Arshad, Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw of Lahore, Bishop Benny Travas of Multan and Bishop Indrias Rehmat, the bishop-elect of Faisalabad.

The bishops raised the funds for the Diamer-Bhasha and Mahmand dams in their respective dioceses of Karachi, Hyderabad, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, Lahore and Islamabad-Rawalpindi.

“We, Catholic Bishops of Pakistan, felt it was our responsibility to support this noble cause and for this we campaigned in our parishes, church-run schools and organizations to raise funds,” Archbishop Shaw told ucanews.com after the meeting.

“In November 2018, we decided in the bishops conference meeting to take this initiative and all the Catholic bishops invited and encouraged our priests, faithful in our respective dioceses, to generously contribute.

“Water is a basic need of life and we will be facing drought if no serious measures are taken to preserve it. We appreciate the campaign launched by the former chief justice of Pakistan to combat this challenge.”

Pakistan’s former top judge, Mian Saqib Nisar, launched the campaign to raise awareness and funds for building water reservoirs in water-scarce Pakistan in July 2018.

Archbishop Shaw said: “Immediately after the chief justice took the initiative, the Catholic Archdiocese of Lahore donated 100,0000 Pakistan rupees for this cause and we are still encouraging our people to contribute and submit their donations in the bank accounts set up by the government of Pakistan.”

The delegation also spoke to Khan about issues concerning Christians in his country and highlighted the good work undertaken by the Church for the betterment of the country, especially in protecting the environment.

Archbishop Shaw lauded the tree-planting campaign launched by Caritas Pakistan, a social wing of the PCBC, telling the prime minister: “We have planted 10 million trees all over Pakistan to combat global warming and for the good of the environment and we are still continuing it.”

Later, he said: “The meeting that had been fixed for ten minutes lasted about half an hour and I am happy the prime minister patiently heard our concerns and responded positively.

“He too appreciated the good work of the Church to strengthen interfaith harmony in the country and welcomed the activities for the good of Pakistan.”

Khan reiterated his government’s commitment to make every possible effort to address the issues of the minority communities.

“We are always concerned about the protection of the religious minorities in Pakistan and it is the first priority of our government to provide protection to those people,” Khan told the delegation.

“I will surely work on the concerns and issues highlighted.”

Sign up to receive UCAN Daily Full Bulletin
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
© Copyright 2019, UCANews.com All rights reserved
© Copyright 2019, Union of Catholic Asian News Limited. All rights reserved
Expect for any fair dealing permitted under the Hong Kong Copyright Ordinance.
No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without prior permission.