Saturday, January 16, 2010
GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO PROTECT RIGHTS OF MINORITIES: SHAHBAZ BHATTI
Federal Minister for Minorities Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti has said that the present government is committed to protect and safeguard the rights of minority communities in Pakistan.
He was talking to Sikh delegates who came from all over the world to attend birthday celebrations of Baba Guru Banak Dev Jee at Nankana Shib and Hassanabad, called on the Minister for Minorities in his office here today.
Talking to the delegation, the Federal Minister appreciated frankness tolerant attitude and loving gestures of Sikh community which is an out come of Baba Guru Nanak’s teachings. He told the delegates that Pakistan is a modern, enlightened and democratic state and the present Government is working in accordance with Quaid-e-Azam’s vision of interfaith harmony and brotherhood among various communities. He highlighted Pakistan’s importance for Sikh community and took pride in relations between people of Pakistan and the global Sikh community as according to him these relations are spiritual rather than political. He further added that inter-faith harmony is one of the main objective of the present Government.
Sardar Gurmeet Singh Aulakh from Sikh council USA thanked the government of Pakistan and appreciated the services provided to the Sikh Yatrees by the new democratic Government. He said that teachings of Baba Guru Nanak are a common heritage of all the religions. Sardar Manmohan Singh a leader of world Muslim Sikh Federation of United Kingdom congratulated the new Government and President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari. He emphasized the need for Sikh Muslim unity in the region. He was of the view that the relations between Sikh community and people of Pakistan are eternal and it has nothing to do with the Pak-India relationship. Sardar Swarn Singh appreciated the facilities provided by the Government of Pakistan on the Pak-India border and inside Gurdwaras. The Minister assured the delegation that the government will facilitate the Sikh community to perform their ceremonies and rituals without stinting and take care of their worship places.
Later on, the delegation of Sikh leaders led by Federal Minister for Minorities, Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti also met Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.