ISLAMABAD, Dec 23 (APP):President Dr Arif Alvi Monday reiterated that the government was fully committed to ensure and protect the equal rights of all the minorities as enunciated by the Father of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in his historic address on August 11, 1947 and as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan.
He was addressing a ceremony held here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr in connection with the Christmas celebrations.
The president felicitated the Christian community of Pakistan and across the world on the joyous occasion, and said the felt pleasure that the Ministry of Religious Affairs had arranged it at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
He said the minorities’ peaceful and harmonious co-existence with the Muslim majority in Pakistan was reflected in the white colour of the National Flag.
The ceremony was attended by First Lady Samina Alvi, ministers, parliamentarians, provincial authorities, religious leaders of different communities, ambassadors and a large number of Christian community members.
The president said the Quaid’s address to the fist Constituent Assembly of Pakistan had ensured complete religious freedom to all the minorities of the country.
He said the religious harmony and tolerance was the part of their religious belief and a vital part of the Sunnah of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
The president resolved that the federal and provincial governments would continue striving to fulfill their commitment in that regard, and ensure protection of minorities’ rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan and in accordance with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He said the government would ensure that all the minorities would be treated equally and the onus to that effect was rested with the relevant authorities.
He also regretted the growing Islamophobia in the West and appreciated the Church for raising its voice against such issue.
Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Noor ul Haq Qadri, in his address, congratulated the Christian community and maintained that Islam was a religion of peace and harmony.
He said all the world religions taught peace and harmony, and referred to the message of the Father of the Nation in which he had stated that Pakistan belonged to all communities residing in it.
Qadri said Pakistan had been the safest country for the minorities when compared with the alarming situation in its neighbourhood.
The minister said opening of the Kartarpur Corridor was another milestone and showed as to how much the incumbent government attached significance to the minorities’ religious sites.
He said in Pakistan, there was zero tolerance for the forced religious conversions.
The president also cut a cake along with the Christian religious leaders and ambassadors.
Earlier, the bishops from Lahore led the prayers for the peace and prosperity of Pakistan, and for the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, while a group of students from Edward College Peshawar presented different Christmas songs.