Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said the day is not far when Pakistan will be recognised as a “minorities-friendly country” due to steps being taken to improve the lives of minority groups.
“We have promoted the vision with our actions that ‘to each his own faith, as humanity is our common asset’,” the premier said while speaking at the Katas Raj Temples Complex in Chakwal.
He said followers of all religions have equal rights in Pakistan and they are working hand in hand to defend the country and contribute to its peace and prosperity.
The PM said he has advised government officials to spare no efforts in hosting pilgrims and in ensuring the protection and expansion of minorities’ places of worship.
He said Islam and all other religions preach peace and those preaching otherwise were not doing a service to the religion, Radio Pakistan reported.
He said he would ensure his full support for the construction of the Baba Guru Nanak and Gandhara universities.
Sharif referred to historic examples to elaborate that it was a part of the Islamic faith to treat the majority and minorities equally.
He said when in the early days of Islam Muslims migrated to Madina and got hold of power there, they treated the “minorities living there with respect”. He said Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) declared those minorities “one nation” along with Muslims.
He said according to the Holy Quran, God is the God of everyone and “not just Muslims”, adding that there should be no distinction on the basis of caste, colour or creed because “we are all one as human beings”.
Sharif said he was the prime minister of all Pakistanis and “not just Muslim Pakistanis” and instructed Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq to restore the holy sites in the area to their original state.
Terrorism in the country has been controlled and an economic revival has been taking place, the premier said.
He said road networks across the country are being expanded and motorways are being constructed.
He said the six-lane Karachi-Hyderabad motorway will be completed within a few months while the Karachi-Lahore motorway is also being constructed.
A six-lane motorway from Hassanabdal to Havelian is being built, the prime minister said, adding that “the makers of ‘Naya Pakistan’ are not building anything… we are”.
PM inaugurates water plant
The premier earlier inaugurated a water filtration plant at the Katas Raj temple.
The filtration plant set up at the temple’s holy Amrat Jal pond will provide clean drinking water to visiting Hindu pilgrims.
Sharif also planted a sapling on the temple’s premises.
He also visited different sections of the temple where he was briefed about its historic significance.
Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Yusuf and ETPB Chairman Siddiqul Farooq accompanied the prime minister.