ISLAMABAD  – Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Senior Vice Chairman of PPP and former prime minister, said here on Thursday that the minorities were the constituency of the PPP government and would be given protection at all cost.

The former prime minister was commenting on the reports regarding a case registered against a Christian girl by Islamabad police on charges of desecrating pages of Noorani Qaida. He said that the minorities were also his own constituency and equal citizens of Pakistan.

Gilani said that the law must take its course to administer justice through the due process of law. The fanatics will not be allowed to pressurize authorities to deny justice to the minorities, he added.

Gilani said that such unfortunate incidents against the minorities had brought a bad name to the country and appealed to the civil society, religious scholars and the media help in creating resistance against the misguided elements, who used the name of religion for unacceptable pursuits.

Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said that Pakistan being a signatory of international conventions dedicated to promote the causes of human rights, could not afford to be oblivious of its international obligations. He said that Pakistan was a respectable member of the international community and had made valuable contributions in maintaining peace and order in the regions around the world under the United Nations. The former prime minister said that Islam was the religion for all humanity due to its universal application for espousing the cause of peace, harmony and tolerance among the people regardless of their caste, creed or gender.

Gilani said that reports of such unfortunate incidents in the international media resulted in affecting the image of Pakistan despite the fact that the country had been facing the major brunt of the war on terror as a front-line state.

The nation stands united with the unwavering resolve to defeat these forces regardless of the number of sacrifices it has to render in the struggle, the former prime minister said.

The nation has taken the ownership of the war on terror, which indeed is the commendable achievement of the dawn of democracy in early 2008, he added. He reminded of the speech and sayings of the Quaid-i-Azam, in which he time and again underscored the importance of the equality of all citizens of Pakistan before the law of the land and the minorities would have equal rights without discrimination.

He was appreciative of the cooperation of coalition partners in the passage of constitutional amendments dealing with minorities rights.

Gilani hoped that the government would succeed in controlling the situation at the earliest to the satisfaction of the minorities.

The President has already taken the notice of the incident for early handling of the solution, he said.