Colours were all over the sky as Lahori folks celebrated Holi with full zeal and fervour. People of all ages and from all walks of life embraced each other to signify the triumph of good over evil and spread love.

Last year, the government declared Holi, Diwali and Easter as holidays for minorities. In a first, the Sindh government notified March 24, 2016, as a public holiday to mark the occasion of Holi.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his today’s address to the nation on the occasion of Holi echoed Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s August 11 statement that no discrimination must be made on the basis of religion.

“The government will make sure there is no discrimination against anyone on the basis of religion and minorities are free to practice their religions and do not feel deprived in getting jobs and other matters,” said the prime minister.

With the spirit of Holi at an all time high, the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) also arranged a function at Lahore’s Krishna Mandir to mark the festivity.

“We are more united than we were several years ago. This is the spirit of Holi,” said community spokesperson and peace activist Aroon Kumar. “Holi is the festival of acceptance, love and happiness.”

Kumar was amongst many who had thronged the Krishna Mandir on Lahore’s Ravi Road to celebrate Holi. But he shared the same message as everyone else; spread peace and love.

“We start the festival with prayers. The fun part is the colour throwing ceremony. Everybody seems they are having the time of their life. It really is great.

“Pakistan of today is very different from what it was years ago. Pakistan is a minority-loving nation. The government has done a great job when it comes to minority rights but there is also room for more, especially for those who are underprivileged,” added Kumar.