KARACHI   -  City Mayor Wasim Akhtar has approved an amount of Rs20 million for payment of salaries and pension to Christian staff of the city government before Christmas.

Talking to a delegation of elected representatives of the Christian community who called on him at his office on Friday and sought release of salaries and pension of Christian staff of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), the mayor said Christian children would get free entry into Karachi Zoo on Christmas.

The delegates asked the mayor to resolve issues relating to cleanliness, water and sewerage in their areas. The delegation apprised the mayor of problems facing Christian localities and asked him to improve sanitation and security, especially around key churches.

Chairman of Legal Committee of KMC Arif Khan Advocate, Chairman of Land Committee Syed Arshad Hassan, Chairman of Works Committee Hassan Naqvi, Financial Adviser Dr Asghar Abbas Sheikh and finance officers were also present on this occasion.

The mayor said that KMC will fulfil its responsibilities with regard to provision of municipal facilities to the Christian community on Christmas to enable it to celebrate its religious festival in a befitting manner.

He said that minorities have equal rights in Pakistan and they have been taken care of. He said all government organisations would make sure to provide Christians all necessary facilities. He said development schemes be prepared for Essa Nagri so that roads and sewerage problems in that area could be resolved on a permanent basis.

The mayor said that KMC, in coordination with the district municipal administration, would make all arrangements for cleanliness and lighting in areas where Christian community resides. He directed that PC-1 be prepared for developing a park in the Union Council-5. He said that district municipal chairmen and other elected representative will visit churches on Christmas to wish Christians Christmas.