LAHORE - The ransacking of a Hindu temple in Larkana was a sinister attempt of extremists to tarnish the impact of the Sindh Festival, but they have miserably failed because the people of Pakistan hold their cultural heritage in the highest esteem, said Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo in a statement issued here from the party secretariat.

The raiders wanted to show that the province was also involved in religious extremism, but they were badly mistaken, he said. He observed the extremists were out to spread religious extremism in the province where they could not succeed due to the composition of the population and the deep influence of Sufis.

He maintained that the Larkana incident against the Hindu community was directly linked to Thar region where the religious extremists reached as relief workers.

He said PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the incident in the strongest terms, terming it an attack on Ghari Khuda Bakhsh while assuring the victims of their early rehabilitation and exemplary punishment to the miscreants.

The Punjab PPP president said the party considered the minorities as equal citizens of Pakistan and empowered them whenever the PPP came to power in the country. He recalled the PPP previous government enhanced the seats of minorities in the Senate and was also seriously considering moving a bill for representation of the minorities in the Parliament on the basis of their population.

He further said the PPP government declared August 11 as Minorities Day, adding it was the day when Quaidi-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, addressing the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, told the minorities categorically that they would be equal citizens of the country. He said PPP would not let the extremists succeed in making the minorities second-class citizens living in a state of insecurity and vulnerability.