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Protecting minorities in Pakistan is Constitutional responsibility of govt: Nawaz Sharif

17 April, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Protecting minorities living in Pakistan is the moral and Constitutional responsibility of the government, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Sunday.

In his message on Easter, the PM lauded the role of the Christian community for the development of Pakistan. The PM reassured the members of Christian community and all other minorities that Pakistan belonged to them and stressed that the country’s peace and prosperity lay in the unity of all Pakistanis.

“It is a moral and national obligation of our nation to protect the constitutional rights of each and every Christian and all other minorities, living in Pakistan as enshrined in our Constitution,” he said.

The prime minister extended his heartiest felicitations to the Christian citizens on the occasion of their religious festival, Easter.

“I wish our Christian brothers and sisters living in Pakistan the happiness and joys of Easter,” a press release from the PM Office quoted him as saying.

He further noted with appreciation that Pakistani Christians were playing an important role in the progress and development of the country.

“We deeply appreciate and are indebted to their valuable contributions and services towards our collective national objective of securing a truly strong, progressive and stable Pakistan,” he said.

In his message to Christian community on the occasion, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif proclaimed that all minorities in Pakistan enjoyed equal rights and the government had taken concrete measures for their welfare. He believed that Easter was celebrated in the name of spending time with deserving people and sharing happiness by thinking above ourselves. The chief minister asserted that the Christian community was playing its due role for the country’s progress. Shahbaz Sharif pronounced that the Constitution of Pakistan had provided a guarantee for equal rights and complete protection for all minorities.

The Christian community in Pakistan celebrated Easter on Sunday with religious zeal and fervour. Strict security arrangements were put in place at churches around the country. A large number of people, including children and elders, thronged to the churches in Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and other cities where special prayers were offered for the country. Members of the Christian community attended Easter vigil service at churches in Lahore. Prayers to mark the event began last Sunday, also known as Palm Sunday, followed by Good Friday and then Easter Sunday. The stretch is a holy week for Christians around the world. One of the main attractions of this festival is the gift of Easter Eggs, made of chocolate, given specially to children. Celebrations are also underway in other countries where religious leaders have urged their followers to spread love and peace. Egyptian Coptic Christians observed Easter Mass under tight security with the ancient minority group still reeling from twin church bombings that killed dozens just days before.

Kashmir issue: Separately, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif called upon the international community to play its role for the just resolution of the Kashmir issue according to the aspirations of Kashmiris.

In a solidarity message issued on Sunday, he said that the global community should play its role to prevent human rights violations by the Indian forces in Held Kashmir.

He stated that brute force is being used against the innocent Kashmiris because they refused to participate in the fake elections in Occupied Kashmir. Sharif said that the people in Occupied Kashmir had been deprived of their basic rights.

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