Interfaith harmony great need of hour: President

Islamabad

President Mamnoon Hussain Friday emphasized that interfaith harmony was a great need of the hour than ever before. The president said this while addressing a Christmas celebration function held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. The religion of Islam granted equal rights to all citizens of the state, he said, adding, national flag of Pakistan was unique in the world which represented people belonging to all faiths.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Begum Kalsoom Nawaz, Begum Mahmooda Mamnoon Hussain, Minister for Religious Affiars and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Yousuf, Minister for Human Rights Senator Kamran Michael, senators, parliamentarians and representatives of Christian community attended the special ceremony.
The president and the prime minister along with federal ministers and Christian leaders also cut the cake to mark the Christmas. On arrival at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the prime minister was warmly received by President Mamnoon Hussain. The two also had one on one meeting during which they discussed matters of national importance.
Addressing the Christmas function, the president said interests of all segments of society were safeguarded in the constitution and this was sign of a good society.
That was the reason, representation of minorities in all elected bodies including the parliament had been ensured, their family and inheritance matters enjoy constitutional and legal protection, the festivals of minority communities were celebrated at national level and special measures were also taken for the safety and upkeep of their places of worship, he added.
The president said Pakistani society had completely rejected extremism and sectarianism. He stated that sometimes when an unpleasant situation was created as a result of an accident or an untoward incident then certain people tried to create mistrust by fuelling misunderstandings.
No doubt, such a negative tendency could be curbed by apprehending mischievous elements but the social pressure would produce more effective, pleasant and lasting results, he underlined. The president said under the able guidance of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, National Action Plan (NAP) had been formulated and under NAP indiscriminate action had been taken across the country due to which the law and order had improved and expressed optimism that the situation would improve further in the future.
He stated that the presence of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and highest leadership of the country in today’s ceremony was reflective of unity and harmony with the Christian community. The president said Christian community in Pakistan was rendering commendable services in the fields of medicine, defence and education. He said a good and civilized society was recognized from the fact that various segments of it adopted new methods of communication with each other for mutual harmony by employing creative approach.
The president underscored that it was the responsibility of all schools of thought to always strive for peaceful co- existence and social harmony. The president on behalf of the people, the government and on his own behalf congratulated the Christian community all over the world including Pakistan on the occasion of Christmas.
Minister for Religious Affiars and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Yousuf, Minister for Human Rights Senator Kamran Michael and Bishop Azad Marshall also addressed the ceremony. The president also hosted a dinner for the Christian community at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.—APP

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