President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the government stands committed to ensure equal rights for minorities as enshrined in the Constitution and the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
In a message on Minorities Day, the President said the recognition and respect for the minorities rights is part of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s manifesto. He said it is an occasion to recognize the important role, played by the minorities of Pakistan in nation-building, the sacrifices rendered by them, and the problems and issues, faced by members of minorities.
He said it was the day to renew the commitment to protect their rights and to draw them fully in the mainstream of national life.
President Zardari said Islam and indeed all true religions, stress higher values like equality, social justice and respect for human rights.
He said Islam lays special emphasis on equal and just treatment of the disadvantaged and the minorities.
The President said August 11 also has a special significance in the national calendar. He mentioned that it was on this day in 1947 when the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in his historic speech to the members of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, had laid down the foundations of a modern, tolerant and progressive Pakistan in which every one will have equal rights, regardless of creed, caste and gender.
He said that speech of the Quaid-e-Azam marks the state policy towards minorities, rooted in the freedom to every one to profess his religious beliefs freely and without fear or interference.
President Zardari expressed the confidence that after passage of 18th Amendment, the provincial governments will continue to ensure equality, freedom and security for all communities so that they can freely profess and practise their religions and also safeguard their legitimate and rightful interests.
He said Minorities Day was an opportunity that reminds to reaffirm solidarity for the betterment of humanity and for a prosperous Pakistan.
Source: The Express Tribune