QUETTA- President Mamnoon Hussain has assured that the rights of minorities will be protected.

Addressing a ceremony in connection with Christmas Day in Quetta today, he said minorities are equal Pakistanis and they have always played an important role for the progress of the country in different sectors.

Referring to the issue of terrorism, he said a handful of misguided elements are shedding blood of the innocent. Attack on a school in Peshawar was as horrific and barbaric as the one carried out on a Church in the provincial capital last year. Reiterating the government's determination to wipe out terrorism, the president said the government’s goal was to bring peace and prosperity in the lives of the people.

Earlier an impressive flag-hoisting ceremony was held at newly renovated Quaid’s Residency in Ziarat town of Baluchistan. President Mamnoon Hussain, who arrived in Baluchistan yesterday on his three-day visit, hoisted the national flag.

The founding father of the country, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, had spent last days of his life in Ziarat district at the historic wooden structure following the advice of the doctors. Ziarat is considered a tourist point in insurgency-hit Baluchistan province where a large number of tourists visit the town and national monument every summer.

The flag-hoisting ceremony was organized on the day of Quaid-e-Azam’s 138th birth anniversary that is being celebrated today across the country with passion and feelings of gratitude for the Father of the Nation.