ISLAMABAD  – The religious minorities living across the country will celebrate their day on August 11 (today) as National Minorities Day to recognise the contribution, services and sacrifices of minorities in creation of Pakistan.

“The celebration of minority day provides us an opportunity to reassure that despite belonging to different faiths we are one nation that continues to march for united and prosperous Pakistan,” said Dr Paul Bhatti, Minister Incharge for National Harmony in a message here on Friday.

He said the day we celebrate every year on August 11, recalls the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah with reference of his speech, and the contribution of non-Muslim communities of Pakistan.

The commendable services of religious minorities along with our Muslim brothers is a glorious chapter in the history of independence movement of Pakistan.

Furthermore religious minorities have given a considerable contribution in different fields of the society including health, education, defense, and social welfare.

Highlighting the services of late Minorities’ leader Shahbaz Bhatti, the Minister said that he dedicated his entire life for the rights of the poor and religious minorities of Pakistan. He fought against discrimination, intolerance and religious persecution, cherishing the idea of interfaith harmony, Dr. Paul added.

Shahbaz Bhatti dedicated twenty-eight years of his life with a strong belief in “Jinnah’s Pakistan” where everyone is free to express his faith without discrimination of race, gender, creed and ethnicity.

 He said the government is committed to follow the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah for the enlightened, liberal, progressive and tolerant Pakistan.

He said one of the top priorities of our government is to promote interfaith harmony, which is being promoted through our ministry at national and international level and creating understanding between the minority community and Muslim majority in the country.

“We have to achieve the goal of a peaceful society by promoting this fundamental principle of interfaith dialogue and relationship of harmony,” he added.

Dr Paul urged all religious communities to stay united and promote interfaith harmony, creating unity, peace, equity and justice in this society.