President Mamnoon Hussain has said that Islam, constitution of Pakistan, state and the people are custodians of the rights of minorities. The President stated that anybody violating this principal would be considered as enemy of Pakistan and the state would take punitive action against such elements as is being taken for eradication of terrorism.
The President expressed these views while addressing a gathering on the occasion of National Minorities’ Day at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Tuesday. Federal Minister for Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yusuf, Parliamentary Secretary Khalil George, representative of Hindu community and MNA Dr. Rameesh Kumar, representative of Sikh community and MPA Sardar Rameesh Singh Arora, representative of Christian community and MNA Mrs. Asia Nasir, representative of Parsee community and MNA Asfanyar Bhandara and representative of Bahai community Ms. Mona Qaimi also addressed on the occasion.
The President said that the government has taken effective measures for the protection of the rights of minorities noting that despite this minorities sometimes face adverse situations for which a handful of misguided elements are responsible and people and government have nothing to do with it. The President made it clear to such misguided elements that if they cause any harm to the minorities they will be considered enemy of the state and the state would take such punitive action against them as is being taken against terrorists.
The President emphasized that neither Pakistan is complete without minorities nor its flag which represent people from all beliefs and communities of the country. The President stated that the government has taken eight measures for protection of the rights of minorities which are reservation of seats for minorities in the parliament, decision to celebrate August 11 as the National Minorities’ Day, optional leave for minorities for their religious festivals, celebration of 10 minority festivals at official level, establishment of welfare fund for minorities, scholarships for students belonging to minorities and establishment of National Commission for Minority Affairs.
Representatives of minorities while expressing their views on the occasion said that they love Pakistan and have always received affection and cooperation from their fellow Muslim countrymen. They appreciated that Pakistan is one of the countries in the world where minorities enjoy equal rights and face no discrimination.