MQI participates in a ceremony on National Day of Minorities

A special ceremony was held in Jilani Park Lahore to mark the National Minorities Day on August 11 as part of Independence Day celebrations. The ceremony, themed as ‘we are one nation under our flag’ was attended by the leaders of all faiths. It was jointly hosted by Directorate of MQI Interfaith Relations, Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Baba Guru Nanak Ji Welfare Society, Cathedral Church Lahore, Presbyterian Church, Sri Krishna Temple and Balmeeka Swami Temple Lahore. Those present on the occasion as the guests of honour included PAT Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, Deputy Commissioner Lahore Capt. (r ) Anwar-ul-Haq, PTI leader Waleed Iqbal, Ch Abdul Ghafoor Mayo, Anser Zahoor, Humayun Mir, Allama Abdul Mustafa Chishti, Allama Zubair Abid, Allama Zubair Ahmad Zaheer, Makhdoom Asim, Zahoor Answer Butt, Sardar Ather Singh, Sardar Ranjeet Singh, Sardar Jaspal Singh, Sheikh Azhar Mahmood, Shahzad Rasool and Abdul Hafeez Ch. A large number of Sikh children also participated in the ceremony.

At the beginning of the ceremony, all guests sang the national anthem. They planted saplings as part of tree plantation drive. National songs were sung and a prayer was made for peace and progress of the country. The people made Dua according to the ritual of their faiths.

Speaking on the occasion, Sardar Bashan Singh said that Punjab is a place of his spiritual mentor and guide, Baba Guru Nanak and hence it is very dear to the members of the Sikh community. He said that Pakistan is our country and we love every bit of it. He said that Pakistan is a sacred land to the Sikhs.

DC Lahore Anwar-ul-Haq stated on the occasion that protecting the life, honour and property of the non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan is the foremost responsibility of the government. Pundit Baghat Lal said that Pakistan gave the respect and that Pakistan is their identity. Reverend Shahid Miraj said that Pakistan belongs to all of the people living in it irrespective of any discrimination of caste, creed and colour. He said that Christian community rendered many sacrifices for new homeland under the leadership of the Quaid-e-Azam. He said that we are following in the footprints of our elders.

PAT Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, while speaking on the occasion, said that the minorities are part and parcel of our national life. He likened them to critical organs of a human body and said that one would be hale and hearty only when only parts of the body are in correct shape and healthy. He said that the ceremony that brought together community and faith leaders was a representative gathering that reflected unity. He said that Pakistan is owned by all of us, adding that the minorities always played an appreciable role in the development of the country.

Sohail Ahmad Raza said on the occasion that these were not just the Muslims but other non-Muslim communities as well who followed and support the Quaid-e-Azam during the freedom struggle. He said that the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees completion freedoms and rights to the minorities and they are unconditional.

Dr Majeed Abel and Dr Manohar Chand thanked the guests for their time.