National Minorities Day observed in President House of Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: August 11, 2017. (APP) President Mamnoon Hussain Friday assured a gathering of religious leaders from various faiths that the incumbent government would purge the education curriculum of hate material, if there is any, to promote interfaith harmony in the society.
Addressing a dinner reception hosted by Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony for representatives of different faiths in connection with the National Minorities Day annually observed on August 11, he said the government was currently revisiting the curriculum, so the issue could be addressed, if it is accurately pointed out.
Meanwhile, Patron-in-chief of Pakistan Hindu Council and Member of National Assembly Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani has said that minorities across the country are facing a lot of problems and to address their grievances, it is necessary to provide them dual vote right to send their genuine representatives in Parliament directly through election. He was addressing a ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr to mark the National Minorities Day. On the occasion, President Mamnoon Hussain, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Mohammad Yousaf and representatives from other walks of life were also present.
Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, exactly 70 years ago, during his address to Constituent Assembly on 11th August 1947, had defined the state policy in clear words that "You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the State." Ramesh Kumar expressed that Quaid-e-Azam had very positive approach about the active role of Non-Muslim minorities in the newly-formed Pakistan. "The inclusion of Non-Muslims including Jogandhara Nath Mandal and Sir Zafarullah Khan shows his commitment for providing equal rights and opportunities to all the communities living in Pakistan," he further said.
Dr Ramesh Vankwani was of the view that the word "minorities" itself represents the narrow-mindset and following the constitution of Pakistan, it is better to use "Non-Muslims" officially. "There is another misconception among masses about our national flag," he said, while urging that this is very unfair to divide the national flag on the basis of discrimination. He emphasized that green color in Pakistani flag reflects prosperity, ambition and harmony while white color relates to peace for all citizens.
Dr Ramesh said that a minority-friendly society could also be beneficial to project the positive image of the country on international level. On the occasion, he also spoke for softening the visa policies for pilgrimages, and state protection of sacred worship places belonging to Non-Muslims. Dr Ramesh proposed to organize national annual awards in honor of prominent Non-Muslim Pakistani citizens to acknowledge their contribution for national development.
Dr Ramesh further said that all Pakistani citizen must show their commitment to promote national and interfaith harmony in their routine dealings, and the complete speech of Quaid-e-Azam on 11th August must be make part of school curriculum.