Islamabad - Lauding the services of Dewan Bahadur SP Singha for creation of Pakistan, President Mamnoon Hussain has said that dynamic nations always remember and are grateful to personalities who serve their country adding that Pakistani nation is not behind anyone in this regard.

The President was speaking to a well attended gathering of Christian community and Pakistanis at the Awan-e-Sadr on the occasion of issuing a commemorative postage stamp to acknowledge the services of Dewan SP Singha.

He said that before independence, Dewan Bahadur SP Singha rendered unforgettable services for the establishment of Pakistan in his position as a member and speaker of Punjab Assembly for which the nation was thankful to him. He said the commemorative postage stamp being issued in recognition of his services was a proof that Pakistani nation always lauded its heroes whether they belong to the majority or minority communities.

“Be it the movement for creation of Pakistan or the phase of its building, minority communities in particular the Christian community have played a stellar role in close collaboration with the whole nation,” the President added. The President said after the creation of Pakistan, the scope of services by the Christian community was further widened and our brethren have rendered extraordinary services not only in the fields of education and health but also in the important area of defence. It shows that all communities of the country work hand in hand to serve Pakistan, he added.

The President said we are proud of the fact that all citizens were equal in the eyes of the state as was stated by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in his speech delivered on August 11 wherein all citizens of Pakistan were assured of equal rights without discrimination of colour, race, religion and belief. He said the present government, by following the guiding principles of Quaid-e-Azam, has never discriminated against the minority communities and above all the Constitution guarantees complete protection to all minority communities.

The basis of peace and mutual understanding between Pakistan’s minority and majority communities, the President said was the teachings of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and his model way of life. “We are proud that these glorious traditions are still being followed,” the President said.

The President said it was however very sad that during the last few years, minorities went through some traumatic incidents the purpose of which was to vitiate the wonderful atmosphere of religious harmony and tolerance in the country. But, he said, Pakistan’s wise people and patriotic minority communities thwarted these evil designs through their unity.

He said that all such incidents occurring in different parts of the country in which a minority community was targeted were totally against the teachings of Islam and perpetrators of these incidents were misled and deserve punishment.

Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) has said that on the Day of Judgment he (PBUH) and the oppressed would be side by side even if the oppressed is a non-Muslim, the President said. The President warned the misguided elements to desist from their nefarious activities because the law was tightening its noose around them and they would not be spared.

President Mamnoon Hussain on the occasion mentioned various steps taken by the government of Pakistan for the welfare of minority community.  It includes, allocation of seats for minorities in the Senate, Parliament and Provincial Assemblies, 5% quota in jobs, facility of leave to minority employees on the occasion of their religious festivals, establishment of Minorities Welfare Fund, scholarships for minority students, arrangements for renovation and maintenance of religious places, setting up of National Commission for Minorities and celebration of 11th August as Minorities Day at official level.

The President reaffirmed his resolve that no stone would be left unturned in promoting religious harmony by upholding these constitutional and legal measures for the protection of minority communities.

The President congratulated the government on issuing a commemorative postage stamp in recognition of the services of Dewan Bahadur S.P. Singha.

“Minority communities are beautiful flowers of the bouquet that is Pakistan and all efforts will be taken for their safety and progress,” the President said.

Minister for Ports and Shipping Kamran Michael, Dr Alexander Bishop John Malick and Bishop Azad Marshall also spoke on the occasion and paid tributes to the services of Dewan SP Singha. A commemorative postage stamp to acknowledge the services of Dewan SP Singha for Pakistan was also issued on the occasion.