President, PM reiterate commitment to safeguard minorities’ rights

ISLAMABAD – President Dr Arif Alvi has said Pakistan remains committed to ensure the protection of religious, social, political and economic rights of its minorities.

He assured all minority groups that the government would make every effort to safeguard their rights and work for their well-being. “Minorities have played commendable role in the social and economic development of the country. I am glad to state that the minorities in Pakistan enjoy all political, economic and social rights which have been guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan, “ the president said in a message on Minorities’ Day being observed across the country on Wednesday.

The president said 11th August was being observed every year as Minorities’ Day in Pakistan to recognize the contributions made by minorities in various fields, particularly in education, science, judiciary, civil services and defence. “Our religion, Islam, also fully recognizes and advocates for protection of the rights of minorities which were recognized under the Charter of Madinah, wherein all the religious communities were guaranteed equal religious and political rights,” he added.

The president said the government of Pakistan had been making consistent efforts for the welfare and facilitation of minorities.

In this regard, he said, the National Commission for Minorities had been constituted to monitor the working of safeguards provided to minorities in the Constitution of Pakistan.

Similarly, the government reserved 5% quota in government jobs as well as separate seats in both houses of the Parliament to encourage minorities to play their role in economic and political development of the country, he added. Moreover, the president said, steps were being taken to provide grants and financial assistance to students and members of the minority communities for their education as well as the upkeep of their worship places.  

“I also call upon the Ulema and media to educate the people about the rights of minorities and promote the spirit of love, tolerance, brotherhood and unity among the people to make Pakistan a strong and prosperous country,” he added.

Also, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the observance of ‘ National Minorities Day’ is reiteration of State’s commitment towards safeguarding the rights of the minority communities of Pakistan as equal citizens and providing them with an enabling environment to excel in every walk of life.

 “The commemoration of this day at governmental level is also an acknowledgment of the important role that our minorities have been playing toward development and progress of Pakistan,” the prime minister said in a message on the National Minorities Day being observed across the country on Wednesday.

With ‘Riyasat-e-Madina’, the prime minister said, as their role model and the principles, enunciated by Father of the Nation as the sole guide, his government firmly believed that no society could continue its march towards its goal of establishing an inclusive socio-economic development if minority communities were denied their rights and relegated to the second-class citizens.

“We believe that inter-faith harmony and protection of vulnerable is not only essential for building a moderate and progressive society but is also an effective bulwark against the rising tide of extremism, hate and crimes against weaker segments of society,” he added.

He further said that in line with the promises made in their manifesto, they had been undertaking every possible effort to promote inter-faith harmony and instill a sense of confidence among the minority communities about protection of their constitutional, legal and societal rights.

 “We have empowered our National Commission for Minorities to play its mandated role in an effective manner. We are committed to implement 5% job quota reserved for minorities in government services. Our parliamentarians, civil servants and other members of minority communities, working in governmental and non-governmental domain not only add value to the overall business of the state but also represent moderate face of our society,” he observed.

The prime minister further said the day was an occasion to reiterate their commitment and work earnestly to promote inter-faith harmony and work as one nation for those ideals that distinguished them among the comity of nation.  “I am confident that our minority communities will continue to work with the same zeal for socio-economic development and prosperity of the country,” he further added.

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