Former President Asif Ali Zardari’s message on Minorities’ Day

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Islamabad August 10, 2014: Co-Chairman PPP former President Asif Ali Zardari has issued the following message on the eve of Minorities Day on Monday August 11.

“On the eve of “Minorities Day” today there is a grim thought that crosses the mind: There is no minority community in the country that does not feel besieged and hardly any minority community is able to assert that it is completely safe. Indeed minorities’ communities in varying degrees feel besieged and threatened.

“The PPP strongly condemns the recent spurt in violence against different minorities’ communities in the country.

The Minorities’ Day today is an occasion to pause and ponder on the causes of increasing intolerance towards them and its inevitable consequences for the state and society. It is also an occasion to vow to bring to an end the siege laid around the minorities by the intolerant and the bigots.

“The Party recognizes and respects the important role played by the minorities in Pakistan in nation building and the sacrifices rendered by them. It is committed to protect them against fanatics and zealots, reverse the trend of systematic erosion of their rights and to draw them fully in the mainstream of national life.

“The PPP is guided by the vision of the Quaid-e-Azam and Quaid-e-Awam. The Quaid vision about minorities is contained in his historic speech on this day in 1947 that laid down the foundations of a modern, tolerant and progressive Pakistan in which everyone will have equal rights regardless of creed and gender. The Quaid-e-Awam’s vision is embodied in the Constitution of 1973 that envisioned minorities to freely profess and practice their religion and culture and that everyone will have equal rights regardless of creed and gender.

“Inspired by this vision, the previous coalition Government led by the PPP decided to observe August, 11 each year as the Minorities Day to reiterate the need to integrate people of all faiths in the national mainstream.

“The PPP is proud of the measures it has taken to recognize the importance and sacrifices of the minorities’ communities some of which include reservation of 5% quota in Government Jobs, four reserved seats in the Senate and a decision to celebrate the religious festivals of minorities at official level.

“On this day the PPP pledges to play its role in protecting and promoting democracy, promoting tolerance and harmony and ending violence against our non-Muslim brethren. The Party reiterates its pledge to resist any attempt to derail democracy on any pretext whatsoever”.

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