LAHORE - Punjab Human Rights and Minority Affairs Department will observe the ‘National Minority Day’  today (August) with a solemn ceremony at the Punjab Governor’s House.

Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar will be the chief guest, while provincial Minister Human Rights and Minorities Ijaz Alam Augustine will be the guest of honour during the ceremony which will commemorate the services of religious minorities in the uplift of the country. 

The day will also recognize the contributions of the minorities in the making of Pakistan and national-building.

Parliamentary Secretary Human Rights and Minority Affairs Mahinder Pal Singh, representatives of the minority communities and members of the civil society organizations will also attend the ceremony. 

Government of Pakistan, in the year 2009 had declared to observe August 11 as National Minority Day in order to protect fundamental rights, life, property, liberty and economic interests of minorities in line with the sayings of the founder of nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his address to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947. 

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state”, Quaid-e-Azam had espoused in his speech.

Talking to mediamen here on Monday, the Provincial Minister Ijaz Alam Augustine said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had introduced landmark decisions to empower the minorities in the country, adding that it was ensured that the members of the monitories prosper and grow with Pakistan.