Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah after the creation of Pakistan had quite emphatically stated that everyone, whether he a Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Hindu or believer of any other faith, living within geographical borders of this country is a citizen of Pakistan able to enjoy equal rights. Members of all minorities are enjoying equal rights, freedom and liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution.

This is what Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has quite rightly reiterated in his message on the occasion of Diwali festival of Hindu community by saying that the followers of all faiths are equal citizens of Pakistan and enjoy equal rights under the Constitution of the country..

According to the reports in the newspapers. the Chief Minister said the festival of Diwali creates passion of brotherhood and goodwill among the people and this festival of Hindu community is also a symbol of happiness and passions.

Appreciating the services of members of Hindu community, he said the Hindu community has and is continuing to play an important role in the process of national development and their contributions in different sectors are also quite commendable and laudable, Pakistani Hindu community is a respectable section of the society and greater socialisation among the people of different faiths will surely go a long way in promoting the message of brotherhood, peace and harmony at the grass root level .

Celebration of Diwali festival by Hindus without any fear or restrictions is ample indication of their enjoying equal rights and freedom of expression and association in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of Pakistan. All this is appreciable and commendable, indeed. Thanks.

MEEM ZAY RIFAT,

Lahore, October 19.