Minister assures minorities to exercise religions’ practices freely

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 20 (APP): Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf has said that the government is making every endeavour to protect minorities in the country irrespective of cast, creed and gender.

Talking to a private news channel , he said that minorities in Pakistan were free to exercise their religions without any fear.

He said several conferences had been held across the country to ensure
their protection due to which a commission came into being which aimed at addressing the issue of minorities.

About Sikh and Hindu minorities’ visit to Pakistan to fulfil their religious rituals, he said there was a protocol of 1974 between Pakistan and India according to which the Sikh community were facilitated on their visit to Hassan Abdal and Nankana Sahib accordingly.

Replying about issuing edict against minorities by the religious leaders, he said the Qaumi Mushaikh Council consisted on 50 Ulema had been formed who would determine how to issue edict as there was a dire need of legislation over the issue. He said steps were being taken to avoid myriad edicts.

About moon sighting issue, he said his ministry was trying to bridge gap between Cental Ruet-e- Hilal of Mufti Mujeeb ur Rehman and Shahab-ud-Din Populzai of KPK and they have agreed to start Ramzan at the same day across the country.

Talking about reforms in religious seminaries he said government was taking steps to bridge the gap between modern education institutions and religious seminaries.

Education of Quran was compulsory for modern educational institutions
and it was hoped that the situation would improve in near future with equal curriculum, he added.