Islamabad - Patron-in-Chief of Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC), MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, has said that announcement of a public holiday to mark the religious Hindu festival Diwali would not only project the soft image of Pakistan on international level but will also let the Hindu community feel confident and honoured.

He was addressing a meeting of the Pakistan Hindu Council to review the preparations for the celebrations of upcoming Diwali festival. Dr Kumar said that announcement of public holiday on Diwali would be a significant step for promoting the interfaith harmony and religious tolerance amongst different faiths. He further said that Diwali is an official holiday in more than ten countries including Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India.

He demanded advance salaries for Hindu employees of both public and private sectors.

He said, “Pakistan Hindu Council wants Pakistan to set precedent for other nations that in our homeland different classes of highly-qualified and well-educated minorities are serving the homeland with a sense that their faith is a respected part of their identity.”

He was also briefed about the ongoing arrangements by Pakistan Hindu Council for the mass wedding ceremony of hundreds of poor deserving Hindu couples scheduled for 22nd November.