Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said that it is saddening how a handful of people are creating misunderstandings between Pakistanis of different religions, but he is determined to hinder the way of such elements. He was addressing a ceremony held here on Saturday in connection with Christmas celebrations. Nawaz said the Constitution of Pakistan does not allow Pakistani citizens to be segregated on the basis of religion.
“Quaid-e-Azam announced in his historic address of August 11, 1947 that equal rights will be given to believers of all religions,” he added. According to Nawaz, not giving them their due right is negating the promise made by the Quaid on behalf of the nation to the minorities. On the eve of partition, these Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and all minorities chose to make Pakistan their homeland. They have been and still are a part of the forces, bureaucracy and Government of Pakistan. So we have to protect their rights as free citizens of Pakistan.
Nawaz said the teachings of Jesus Christ are not just for one religion but for the whole human civilisation. He also said his birth is the message of peace and harmony in the world. He emphasised the need for unity and added that Pakistan is a multi-cultural society. While condemning the attack on a church in Peshawar, he said for these elements nothing is sacred, neither a mosque nor a church, as no life holds any importance for them. He said treating all Pakistanis on equal basis is the mandate of his government. He invited the Christian, Hindu, Sikh and youth from all minority groups to participate in the recently launched Youth Business Loan Scheme with full confidence and be bread winners for their families.
On the occasion, Punjab Governor Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar, Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping and Senator Kamran Michael, Provincial Minister for Minorities Tahir Khalil Sindhu, Bishops of Lahore Irfan Jamil and Sebastian Shaw were also present. Both the Bishops showed solidarity with all the religions and thanked their Muslim brethren to help Christian community in every calamity. Decision of the government was lauded to give important ministries to minority representatives at federal and provincial level. They thanked Prime Minister for celebrating Christmas with them. Later, the Prime Minister cut a ceremonial Christmas cake along with distinguished guests and Christian community at the end of the ceremony.