Minorities get assurances of protection

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MINISTRY of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony marked National Minority Day on Saturday last by or
ganizing a colourful event at Aiwan-e-Sadr which was attended both by President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan. During their speeches, the two leaders gave elaborate references from the life and teachings of Holy Prophet Peace Be Upon Him) and Caliphs about the rights of minorities which indeed was not only inspirational but really showed their intent to build a just society where everybody has the right to live with complete sense of security and enjoy equal opportunities to excel. By following this ideal of State of Madina, we also indeed can lay the foundation of a strong and united Pakistan.
As the Muslims in neighbouring India are being set on fire by the Hindu extremists for not chanting the names of their gods and one such incident took place just on Friday where a fifteen year old boy was set ablaze, Prime Minister Imran Khan, on the other hand, was strongly denouncing at the minority day event the forced conversions to Islam and said those doing this have no understanding of Islam and its teachings. Minorities in Pakistan though are faced with some problems, yet they are far better treated and respected when compared with the situation in the so-called secular India which in fact has turned into a Hindu extremist state where minorities, especially Muslims and Christians, are maltreated and harassed on a daily basis for practicing their religion. The difference is also in the leadership as PM Khan speaks about the protection of rights of all minorities whilst in India, Modi has a track record of massacring thousands of Muslims in Gujarat and his message is Hindu First. Anyway, as regards Pakistan, our federal and provincial governments still need to do a lot to provide a better environment to the minorities where they do not feel left of, threatened or humiliated. Some good legislation such as Hindu Marriage Acts have been passed both by the National Assembly and Sindh Assembly to register the marriages of Hindus, we understand the same kind of legislation needs to be done for Christians. Then the issue of forced conversions, especially in Sindh province, should be looked into seriously and we expect that the Prime Minister will personally take notice of such incidents and do the needful to curb this trend which is totally un-Islamic. Five per cent quota of minorities in public sector jobs should be ensured and sanitation related jobs should not be reserved only for Christians or any other minority. Finally any hate material in course books against the followers of other religions should be removed. The Minorities are equal citizens of Pakistan and they have made immense contribution in various fields especially health and education. It is time to recognize them and whilst taking them along, we can build a more harmonious and peaceful Pakistan.

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