ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has felicitated the Hindu community on their joyous occasion of Holi and said the celebrations are reflective of the country’s vibrant multi-cultural society.

In a message to the followers of Hinduism, the prime minister said in Pakistan all communities are entitled to equal rights and privileges.

He said it has always been one of the cardinal principles of his government to safeguard and protect the rights of minorities.

He said the government’s policies are geared towards creating greater harmony and cohesion among people of all faiths.

The prime minister said Pakistan’s social and cultural fabric is strongly influenced by the individual narratives of its people belonging to all backgrounds, cultures, customs and religions. “This diversity is of great value and reinforces our ties with the region and the world around us,” he added. Nawaz Sharif termed Holi a colourful occasion symbolising verve and energy of life celebrated by Hindu community.

He said the spectacular festival is aimed at reviving the selfless spirit of camaraderie and bonhomie between people of all shades of belief and practice, said a statement issued by the PM Office here.

He said Holi reflects the strength of the spirit of goodness over forces of evil and provides Hindu community an occasion to reconnect with other faiths to bring harmony in the society. The prime minister lauded the contribution of Hindu community in tirelessly working for the success of the country. He expressed confidence that Hindu community would continue to play their role for peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan with complete dedication.