NOT TO BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST OR TELECAST BEFORE THE MORNING OF11TH AUGUST, 2016
“The observance of “Minorities Day” is an occasion to recognize the role of minorities in nation building and renew our commitment to protect their rights and promote national harmony amongst the followers of diverse faiths. It is also time to remember the great sacrifices rendered by minorities living in Pakistan and to be sensitized to the problems and issues they face. Minorities Day reminds all of us to reaffirm our solidarity for the betterment of humanity and a prosperous Pakistan.
August 11 has a special significance in our national calendar. It was on this day in 1947 when the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in his historic speech to the members of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, had laid down the foundations of a modern, tolerant and progressive Pakistan. The Quaid had said, ‘You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the State’’. The present democratic Government is driven by the vision of the Quaid-e-Azam for protecting the rights of minorities. The recognition and respect for the rights of minorities is part of our Manifesto.
Our democratic government stands committed to ensure equal rights for all minority communities as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan and UN Declaration of Human Rights. It is our moral, religious and social obligation to strengthen the bond of brotherhood and promote the culture of tolerance in our country. Minorities are partners in the development of Pakistan. The objective of celebrating this day is to acknowledge the valuable contributions, highlight their rights and promote inter-faith harmony.
The core principle for celebrating this day is to enable people of every faith live in peace as they choose. It must be understood that the state belongs to every Pakistani; irrespective of religious affiliations and faiths. Pakistan is our motherland and it is the duty for all of us to help it advance and flourish”.
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