LAHORE – PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has said some anti-state elements are fostering sense of deprivation among the minorities to frustrate the theme of religious freedom, which was in the roots of creation of Pakistan.

In his Independence Day message, Nawaz Sharif said preventing the minorities from enjoying religious freedom is neither permissible in Islam nor the constitution of Pakistan gives countenance to this practice. But it was highly deplorable that certain elements in the fulfillment of their anti-state designs were fanning sense of deprivation among the minorities and were hampering their religious freedom. The minorities, he said, hold the same right over Pakistan as anyone else.

Nawaz said Pakistan today demands of its citizens the display of the same character as it was done by their ancestors at the time of struggling for the achievement of Pakistan.

“Country is up against internal and external challenges today which could be defeated only through unity of all communities. Today we desperately need the spirit of 1947 and to practically rectify things instead of staying merely at rhetoric and slogans”, he said.

The PML-N chief said after over six decades still we were recognised as beggar in the world, the cardinal reason for which, he added, was our failure to protect the national interests, deviation from the objectives behind the creation of Pakistan, misdirected policies and wrongly set priorities, lack of self accountability and repeated subversion of the Constitution.

Nawaz said Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had dreamt Pakistan as a state where law rules, justice prevails, and everyone has equal rights and opportunities. The Quaid in his August 11 speech, had spelled out his vision for the new homeland.

Nawaz said August 14 was also important with respect to the fact that before the next Independence Day, the country would have a new leadership through the elections to control the affairs of the state.