Friday Dec 25 2020
Web Desk

Pakistan's minorities enjoy equal rights, says Narcotics Control Minister Ijaz Shah

Web Desk

  • "Provision of equal rights to [minorities] is part of our faith," says Ijaz Shah
  • Shah underscores how minorities in India face discriminatory attitude 
  • President Alvi speaks of PTI govt's commitment to ensure religious freedom of all minorities

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's minorities enjoy equal rights, Narcotics Control Minister Ijaz Shah said Thursday, in a comment that came hours after President Dr Arif Alvi lauded the complete religious freedom in the country.

Speaking here at a ceremony in Youngsonabad, Ijaz Shah underscored that the white portion in Pakistan's flag symbolised the nation’s religious minority communities, which are completely safe in the state.

"The provision of equal rights to them is part of our faith," he said, according to the APP, as he distributed gifts on the occasion of Christmas and assured to resolve the minority communities' problems on a priority basis.

Minorities in India

Shah underscored that the minorities in India were facing discriminatory attitude and even the farmers in the neighbouring country were facing problems due to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government's non-serious approach towards the poor people.

Earlier today, President Arif Alvi addressed a Christmas function at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, where he spoke of the PTI government's commitment to ensure the religious freedom of all minorities in Pakistan.

PM already resolved promise of equal treatment

All minorities enjoyed complete religious freedom and equal rights in Pakistan, Alvi said, according to the APP, adding that the teachings of Islam and the country's constitution guaranteed their religious rights.

The president cited unmatched precedents set up in Riasat-e-Madina (State of Medina) by Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with regard to the treatment of people of different faiths. "It is the duty of all to ensure these principles of equity and inter-faith harmony," he said.

The PTI government under Prime Minister Imran Khan had already resolved the promise of equal treatment towards all minorities, he said, adding that the premier had decided on showing the world how they were treated in Pakistan..

Alvi said Pakistan's founder, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, had pronounced the religious freedom and equal rights of all in a very elucidated manner in his historic speech of August 11.

For many, he added, the same reference was a sort of agreement reached with all minorities.

Alvi lauds Pope for speaking about Palestinians

The president underscored that contrary to such treatment in Pakistan, there was an alarming situation in the neighbourhood — India — where religious minorities were discriminated against and deprived of their citizenship.

Extending felicitations to the Christian community, he also appreciated Pope Francis for his raising voice for the Palestinians and issues such as the inequality of wealth.

Separately, Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri, who was also present on the occasion, said the PTI government had ensured the religious freedom of all minorities. 

Karatarpur a manifestation of equal treatment

There was no discrimination against anyone on the basis of religion as the constitution of Pakistan had guaranteed equal treatment of all citizens, he said, extending greetings to the Christian community on Christmas.

Islam had ensured respect for all communities of different faiths, the minister said, referring to their equal treatment in Riasat-e-Madina and during the Caliphates' ruling periods.

Qadri said the Karatarpur Corridor was a manifestation of how the PTI regime was working to facilitate all minorities even from across the border.

He highlighted that the Minority Commission's chairperson belonged to the minority community.