Islamabad (AsiaNews) - In spite of the different
faiths professed, "We are part of one nation" that continues to march
in order to create "a prosperous and united Pakistan", affirmed Paul
Bhatti, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister for National Harmony. He stressed the role of non-Muslims on the
day dedicated to religious minorities, which is celebrated on 11 August in the
whole country, the 65th anniversary of the historic speech by Mohammad Ali Jinnah,
the founder of modern Pakistan, to the Assembly of the newborn State (held on
11 August 1947). The
festival dedicated to minorities is inserted into the context of the words
uttered by Qa'id-and-A'zam - as he is commemorated in his home nation - who repeatedly
emphasized the contribution of minorities in the birth and development of the
Education, health, defense are just some areas where non-Muslims were known for their commitment and contribution to the cause of the country. However, in some cases they remain helpless victims of acts of terrorism, extremism and violence which continue unabated.
In his message, the Minister for National Harmony recalled two major political figures in recent Pakistani history, killed at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists and Taliban movements. The former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and his brother Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic, minister for religious minorities assassinated March 2, 2011. Both were victims of fanaticism, famous for having dedicated their lives to the ideals of democracy, equality and peace in society. Shahbaz, in particular, wanted to remember their commitment against "discrimination, intolerance and religious extremism."
"We can not retreat in the face of injustice - said Paul Bhatti - or the particular mindset of the Pakistanis who want to divide and destabilize the nation." He revived the plan of following in the footsteps of two great predecessors, Bhutto and Shahbaz, and confirmed that the government intends to take up the vision of the nation's founder and create an "enlightened, liberal, progressive and tolerant" Pakistan. Among the priorities to promote a true "interfaith harmony", which can only be reached through the "inclusion" of religious minorities in the political, social, institutional and financial life of the country.