ISLAMABAD, Aug 11 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday stressed that the nation should move ahead as a united force towards a tolerant and peaceful Pakistan while shunning differences on the basis of religious affiliations.
“Belonging to different faiths, we have to rise to the occasion and act as a single entity to show the world that Pakistan is united and strong,” he said while addressing an event marking the National Minorities Day here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
The president urged the nation to be vigilant against the elements attempting to ignite hatred among different religions and asked them to reject negativity towards other faiths.
He said Pakistan’s ideology was based on Islamic injunctions and traditions that stressed on giving good treatment to the religious minorities.
He quoted a Hadith of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) that He would complain against the person on the Day of Judgment who was cruel towards a non-Muslim minority and curtailed their rights.
The president also referred to Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) Charter of Privileges addressed to Saint Catherine Monastery covering all aspects of human rights, including the protection of Christians and freedom of their worship and movement.
Dr Alvi referred to the August 11, 1947 speech of the country’s founder Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah where he told the nation that their faiths had nothing to do with the business of state and they were free to go to their mosques, temples or any other place of worship.
He said unity among different segments of the society helped a nation become solid and strong.
Similar unity was demonstrated by the nation during the coronavirus pandemic as it followed the government’s guidelines and thus succeeded in overcoming the challenge, he added.
He said under the Ehsaas programme, Rs 2 billion was disbursed among the deserving regardless of their religious affiliations.
He lauded Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri for his ‘in-time response’ to address any untoward incident involving the minorities in the country.
Dr Alvi said as per ideals of the State of Medina and numerous other examples from Islamic history, Pakistan had an inspiration to pursue in order to ensure protection of the minorities.
He said harmony among the people from different faiths was vital to ensure social equality and brotherhood, and expressed confidence that the day was not far when the country would take a lead in the comity of nations.
The event was attended by representatives of religious minorities in the country.