| GEO Pakistan|
| Zardari takes notice of vandalism against Christians|
| Updated at: 1631 PST, Friday, July 31, 2009|
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari Friday expressed serious concern over the reported incident of setting the houses of Christian residents on fire in a Toba Tek Singh village and manhandling of police and journalists at the hands of lawyers, and called for an immediate inquiry report from the provincial government.
Spokesperson to the President former Senator Farhatullah Babar said the President took serious note of the media reports of the incident and asked the provincial government to send him a report and also ensure the security of life and property of the villagers.
The President also advised the federal government to send the Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti to express sympathy with the victims.
The President said there were laws of the land to deal with complaints and accusations against anyone and no one should be allowed to take the law into his own hands to settle scores.
It is against the spirit of Islam and the norms of a civilized society when laws are taken into one's own hands and members of the minority community are vandalized for real or imagined crimes, he said.
The President asked for a thorough investigation into the incident and to bring the culprits to justice in accordance with the law.
He also took notice the reports of some lawyers manhandling the policemen and journalists, and called for a report from the provincial government.
The President called for mutual tolerance, respect for dissent and reconciliation. Tolerance for plurality and respect for the views of others is part of the culture of democracy, he said.
"It is therefore our responsibility to promote democratic values and culture as a necessary tool of promoting tolerance and harmony," he said.
Commenting on the lawyers’ irresponsible and violent attitude, the president said the respecting the difference of opinion is the demand of democracy.