ISLAMABAD            -        Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator Rehman Malik has said that National Day of Minorities reminds the efforts of Pakistan People’s Party in unifying the nation. 

Addressing a ceremony at his residence in Islamabad on Tuesday, he urged the nation to live with unity for happy, peaceful and progressive Pakistan beyond all differences. A number of PPP leaders, workers and representatives of religious minorities all across the country attended the ceremony. Among the participants Sardar Saleem Haider, former federal minister, PPP City President Shahzada Iftikhar, Nargis Faiz Mail, Sibat e Haider Bukhari, Pastor Jibran Masih Gill, Syed Qamar Abbas Shah and other prominent personalities were present.  

Senator Rehman Malik said that August 11 was observed as National Minority Day to reaffirm solidarity with the minorities which was declared by the Pakistan People’s Party in 2009. 

He said August 11 reflected the vision of father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who on this day in 1947 laid down the foundations of a modern, tolerant and progressive Pakistan in his historic speech adding that Quaid had a dream of Pakistan where everyone would have rights regardless of creed, caste and gender. 

He said that PPP had been a true representative of minority as under the slogan of ‘Jeay Bhutto’ we all the citizens of Pakistan were one. He said that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto rendered great services to protect the rights of minorities and the legacy was duly carried forward by Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. He said he was pleased to see that across the country PPP was expressing solidarity with minorities.

Senator Malik said that diversity was the beauty of any nation and having different religions and cultures under same flag was not less than a blessing. He emphasized that PPP was committed to maintain the equality in Pakistan as deliberated in the Constitution. 

He maintained that the leadership of PPP would leave no stone unturned to ensure safety and security of minorities. He said, “I have always opposed the word ‘minority’ only reflects the quantity of the persons following a particular religion whereas on national spectrum we all are Pakistanis bearing the same stature.” He said he wished it should have named ‘Inter-Faith Harmony Day’ as we were strong believer of the fact.

Senator Rehman Malik said that followers of all religions in Pakistan could freely exercise, profess and practice their religion and culture. He said active political participation of minorities should be encouraged by all political parties of the country. He concluded that let we all as a nation reaffirm our commitment to build Pakistan where we all can live with love, peace and tranquillity.

On the occasion, one minute silence was observed to pay homage to assassinated PPP leader from minority Shahbaz Bhatti. Sardar Saleem Haider, Sibtal Haider Bukhari, Shahzada Iftikhar, representatives from minorities and workers of PPP also addressed the ceremony wherein PPP services for minorities’ rights were highlighted and highly appreciated.