President Mamnoon Hussain has said that minority communities of Pakistan, in particular the Christian community, have played a stellar role for development and progress of the country in close collaboration with the whole nation. The President noted that the Christian community has rendered extraordinary services not only in the fields of education and health but also in the important area of defence.
The President expressed these views during a ceremony of issuance of Commemorative Postage Stamp in memory of Dewan Bahadur S.P. Singha at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad on Friday.
President Mamnoon said that before the creation of Pakistan, Dewan Bahadur S.P. Singha rendered unforgettable services for the establishment of Pakistan in his position as a member and speaker of Punjab Assembly for which the nation is thankful to him. “The commemorative postage stamp being issued today in recognition of his services is a proof that Pakistani nation always appreciates its heroes whether they belong to the majority or minority communities” remarked the President.
President Mamnoon stated that all citizens are equal in the eyes of the state as was stated by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in his speech delivered on August 11 wherein all citizens of Pakistan were assured of equal rights without discrimination of colour, race, religion and belief. The President noted with appreciation that the present government, by following the guiding principles of Quaid-e-Azam, has never discriminated against the minority communities and above all the Constitution guarantees complete protection to all minority communities.
President Mamnoon said that the government have taken significant measures for the welfare of minority communities which include allocation of seats for minorities in the Senate, Parliament and Provincial Assemblies, 5% quota in jobs, facility of leave to minority employees on the occasion of their religious festivals, establishment of Minorities Welfare Fund, scholarships for minority students, arrangements for renovation and maintenance of religious places, setting up of National Commission for Minorities and celebration of 11th August as Minorities Day at official level.
The President stated that it is very saddening that in the last few years minorities went through some traumatic incidents the purpose of which was to vitiate the wonderful atmosphere of religious harmony and tolerance in the country but Pakistan’s wise people and patriotic minority communities thwarted these evil designs through their unity. “I believe that all such incidents occurring in different parts of the country in which a minority community was targeted are totally against the teachings of Islam and perpetrators of these incidents are misled and deserve punishment” added President Mamnoon.
The President reiterated the national resolve that minority communities are beautiful flowers of the bouquet that is Pakistan and all efforts will continue to be taken for their safety and progress. Later, President Mamnoon also inaugurated the commemorative postage stamp of Dewan Bahadur S.P. Singha.
Senator Kamran Michael, Minister for Ports and Shipping, Alexander John Malik and Bishop Azad Marshal also spoke during the ceremony.