Islamabad- In order to maintain the national unity in the society, citizens from all walks of life must be given equal status beyond the discrimination of cast, creed and religion, speakers said on Friday.

National Council of Social Welfare (NCSW) held a debate to discuss the social role of minorities in the country and the miseries facing marginalized communities.

Chief guest of the ceremony, former legislature J Salik said that constitution of the country provides equal opportunity to all citizens.

“Founder of the nation had desired to make Pakistan such a state in which equal opportunities are available to everyone,” he said. He said national unity can only be maintained in the society by giving due respect to everyone without any discrimination of cast, creed and religion. “It is our collective responsibility to promote religious tolerance and interfaith harmony,” he maintained.

Meanwhile, Chairman NCSW Nadeem Shafeeq Malik said that no nation can rise to the height of glory without giving rights to its minorities.

“Minorities of Pakistan are playing important role in the social progress and prosperity of Pakistan,” he said.

“Islam also does not allow us to discard minorities on the basis of religion,” he maintained.

He said present government has initiated various steps in order to protect the rights of minorities and National Commission for Minorities is working in this regard.

“A bill for legislation for given legal cover is in process to strengthen and make it more powerful while, National Commission for Human Rights is also working effectively for the welfare of the minorities,” he informed the participants.

“The white colour in the national flag of Pakistan reminds that minorities are the part and partial of Pakistani society, it is therefore our collective responsibility to keep the minorities side by side for the progress of Pakistan,” he said.

Representatives of civil society, NGOs, students, officials of CA&DD and social activists working for the welfare of the minorities attended the seminar.