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PM Nawaz speaks out strongly against religious persecution

Updated Jan 12, 2017 12:01pm

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PM Nawaz speaks at the Katas Raj Temple.— DawnNews
PM Nawaz speaks at the Katas Raj Temple.— DawnNews

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said the day is not far when Pakistan will be recognised as a "minorities-friendly country" and that his government is taking steps to improve the lives of under-represented religious groups.

The premier said his government, through its actions, promotes the belief that 'to each his own faith', adding that humanity is what should bind the nation together.

He was speaking at a ceremony at the Katas Raj temples complex in Chakwal.

He further said followers of all religions have equal rights in Pakistan, noting that they had worked hand-in-hand to defend the country and contribute to its peace and prosperity.

The PM said he has advised his officials to spare no effort in hosting non-Muslim pilgrims and ensuring the protection and expansion of their places of worship.

He also said he would lend his full support for the construction of the Baba Guru Nanak and Gandhara universities.

The PM observed that Islam and all other religions preach peace, and those preaching otherwise were not doing a service to their religion, Radio Pakistan reported.

PM Sharif made frequent references to Islamic history to stress that it was part of the Islamic faith to treat minorities equally.

He recalled that when, in the early days of Islam, after Muslims migrated to Madina to escape persecution and came into power, they treated the "minorities living there with respect". He said Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) even declared those minorities "one nation" along with Muslims.

He said the Holy Quran states that God is the God of everyone and not just the Muslims, adding that there should be no distinction on the basis of caste, colour or creed because "we are all one as human beings".

PM Sharif reiterated that he was the prime minister of all Pakistanis and "not just Muslim Pakistanis".

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 visited different sections of the temple and was briefed about their historic significance.

Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Yusuf and ETPB Chairman Siddiqul Farooq accompanied the prime minister.

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Comments (111) Closed



ubaid Shah Jan 11, 2017 02:23pm

Very Nice step in the right Direction.Minority rights should be protected at priority.

Houlbelat Jan 11, 2017 02:28pm

That is a far far away possibility when all terror and militant groups would be confined and chained.

Ranjit Haripur Jan 11, 2017 02:35pm

I'm still waiting.

boobie Jan 11, 2017 02:36pm

this is a wonderful development and all the power to you!

ABE Jan 11, 2017 02:43pm

Unfortunately, the majority is unlike to accept the 'corrupt political minority' of this country anytime this century.

Hopefully, time is not far, when there will be a shortage, indeed lack of, corrupt politicians in this country and we will all be able to live and tolerate each other without fear and injustice.

Harmony-1© Jan 11, 2017 02:50pm

@ABE - Nice one!

AW Jan 11, 2017 02:49pm

Wonderful statement - now back it up with laws and implementation.

Sovereign Jan 11, 2017 02:59pm

First make it safe for majority then talk about minority.

pak lota Jan 11, 2017 03:00pm

I like him. Because of statements like these he is so popular and respected every where in Pakistan and abroad.

Piyush Jan 11, 2017 03:02pm

Good job.

Keep it up.

sad Pakistani Jan 11, 2017 03:11pm

@Houlbelat Very well said.

Truth Jan 11, 2017 03:09pm

Sorry, but I will never accept corrupt political minority of this country!

PakistaniAT Jan 11, 2017 03:12pm

Don't just build, educate the nation. That would be worth admiring. Nothing came out of your building in the past 40 years.

sad Pakistani Jan 11, 2017 03:12pm

@ABE Dear Sir, Pakistanis are the crowd of people living in dreams, lips sealed, the mouth muzzled and eyes are blinded. I am praying for a Messe-hah to sort this country, if not for me at least my future generation. Oh God save my country.

Princess_of_DHUMP Jan 11, 2017 03:20pm

Inshallah.

M.Malik Jan 11, 2017 03:16pm

@pak lota - What a pity! You must be living in a parallel universe, detached from all reality.

At home, I bet his popularity is in single digits.

Abroad, his envoy, could not even get an audience with Trump, despite a month of groveling and 'working the phones' in Washington.

His much touted and expensive trip to Bosnia in a dedicated PIA 777, didn't garner much dividends for the country. Furthermore, there was not much fanfare when he did arrive in Sarajevo, and was met at the airport by Minister of Transport - not the PM, or even the Foreign Minister. Not exactly the protocol he was expecting.

SNB Jan 11, 2017 03:18pm

Heartening!!!!

Sameer Jan 11, 2017 03:21pm

Such statements make me laugh. How bereft is our PM from reality. What happens to Ahmedis?

kings way Jan 11, 2017 03:19pm

Control population growth to bring prosperity to all.

Rida Jan 11, 2017 03:26pm

But Mr Nisar says something else!!!

Qfnk Jan 11, 2017 03:24pm

InshAllah!

Sixer from Chakwal Jan 11, 2017 03:33pm

I am local resident of Katas, PM has announced water filtration on this holy pond and to tell you all there is no water left in this small pond and not just this but next to katas is Choa Saiden Shah a population of approximately 500,000 people and water has dried under ground. All this has happened due to newly run cement factories as these factories are using huge turbines and pulling all the water of local population.

ali ibrahim Jan 11, 2017 03:36pm

In all honesty, that day IS far Mr. PM. Just today one of your top officials (Nisar) has said "outlawed sectarian organisations should not be equated with those of terrorist outfits." The "Muslim" minorities are not safe as of today let alone the non-Muslim ones.

Neighbour Jan 11, 2017 03:36pm

Far too late, don't you think Mr. Prime minister?

babar ali Jan 11, 2017 03:37pm

Hope so dear PM you have to work hard for that

KHALID YOUSAFZAI (UK) Jan 11, 2017 03:41pm

@Sixer from Chakwal: wonderful statement. Hope someone conveys your stance to the RICH owners of the cement factories. But remember, this ceremony was only done to put the dust into the eyes of poor people. Rich class only does "Inauguration ceremonies."

Skeptic Jan 11, 2017 03:39pm

If and when that happens, it will be years or decades from now. By that time, PML-N anointed Monarchy will be history - we hope.

najaf Jan 11, 2017 03:43pm

Mr. PM is there anything you did to protect minorities' rights??? The only steps taken are by the Sindh govt.

point of view Jan 11, 2017 03:49pm

Need actions, not the words.

Khawar Saleem Aslam Jan 11, 2017 03:52pm

Statements like these are essential and I do not recall any Pakistani politician having roots in masses saying anything different. For Pakistan to succeed rights of minorities must be ensured.

purushottamsingi Jan 11, 2017 03:51pm

Welcome this move whole heartedly

saadch24@gmail.com Jan 11, 2017 03:56pm

well said honourable Prime Minister

Jawad U Rahman Jan 11, 2017 04:05pm

Why is that day not TODAY?

Mahmood Jan 11, 2017 04:04pm

Hey, that sounds like the speech Martin Luther King delivered in Salem or Montgomery, Alabama in the '60s...

.".. Free at last, free at last, Than God almighty..."

And I am hoping we call all rejoice one day, when we are all free of Corruption, at last!

Alba Jan 11, 2017 04:08pm

That is the biggest lie I have ever heard him tell.

asad khan Jan 11, 2017 04:04pm

"We would ensure the construction of universities" Who can have trust on your statements Mr. PM. This may be your fake political statement.

Amer RAO Jan 11, 2017 04:05pm

Really?

Skeptic Jan 11, 2017 04:10pm

"adding that there should be no distinction on the basis of caste, colour or creed because "we are all one as human beings".

But some consider themselves better than others, and privileged. Hence they cannot bear to visit a Hospital in the country for routine medical checkups or even a surgery. They must go to Harley Street or Wellington Hospital for that. The color of money is different in the UK, Mr. PM! But we are all still human beings. What is good for me, should be good enough for you too!

Alba Jan 11, 2017 04:08pm

@boobie ... .. Some people will believe anything. If you live in a fortified palace and eat the best food all is right with the world.

alien Jan 11, 2017 04:09pm

Just political statements... progress ZEROOOOOOO

Umair Arshad Jan 11, 2017 04:18pm

Good job.

shakil Jan 11, 2017 04:16pm

@ABE It is not just the politicians that are corrupt, it is those politicians who are in power. Speaking of power, it inevitably corrupts everyone who has it especially in our country. The bureaucracy is the biggest section of corrupt people in Pakistan because they are permanently in power. In fact it is the bureaucracy that teaches the politicians how to be corrupt because then the bureaucracy itself can commit corruption with impunity. Just take the example of the lowly patwari posted somewhere and then check the property holders chart of that area. More than half of that area is owned by its patwari. So what to speak of the bigger fishes of bureaucracy? or the politicians?

Hasssan Jan 11, 2017 04:21pm

Sure Mr. PM Justice is the pillar of society and we the Hazara have been denied justice for far too long now. How can you claim such a thing Mr. PM when not a single culprit of the 2000 plus attacks on my community has been brought to justice??? 4 or 5 days ago 3 Hazara men were gunned down in broad day light in Quetta ...

hasan Jan 11, 2017 04:26pm

@Sovereign you are right

KhwarAzmi Jan 11, 2017 04:29pm

When will Pakistan become a majority friendly country?

d.k.pamnanI Jan 11, 2017 04:33pm

I as an Indian, appreciate the statement of PM Pakistan.

Pravin Jan 11, 2017 04:34pm

its very nice step by NS. happy, growing and increasing minority is the beauty of democracy.

Rehan Jan 11, 2017 04:37pm

The day will only come when imcompetant leaders are out with their looting

Shahid Jan 11, 2017 04:39pm

Do they even know let alone care about what is the life of a commoner, minority or not, except their own minority of few families and friends?

Amjad Khan Jan 11, 2017 04:42pm

inshaAllah - Ameen. May this day come quick. Pakistan should be a country where every minority and every religion is safe and free to practice their religion without fear then only Pakistan will be truly a real Islamic Republic.

Ahsan gul Jan 11, 2017 04:49pm

Dream on Mr. PM. You need to resolve PanamaGate real issue first. These noble tasks do not suit you as these are divergents from real issues. Sorry

Sohan Jan 11, 2017 04:55pm

Finally the PM is speaking. It a bold admission

Atta Jan 11, 2017 04:57pm

Another statement to fool us again. You have lost your credibility Mr PM. Please bare us from all this.

javed Jan 11, 2017 04:59pm

By saying that 'the day is not far' betrays the fact that it is not here yet! Not here in seventy long years.

WASEB Jan 11, 2017 05:12pm

Only thing which can be appreciated...

Myview Jan 11, 2017 05:12pm

A breath of fresh air.How much of it will actually happen and when?

Qambar Ali Jan 11, 2017 05:15pm

Mr Sharif, if you stood by you words, history will judge you as a great leader, it will wash the stains of panama and likes

Shailesh Jan 11, 2017 05:16pm

well done. first marriage act and now this. changing pakistan! modern and liberal

Gerry D'Cunha Jan 11, 2017 05:42pm

Very nice statement in words by the PM to the minorities but what about taking action on this beautiful words.

Reality Jan 11, 2017 05:44pm

A great number of people in our society need to teach this lesson at an early age when they're not exposed to prejudice and discrimination. They would hardly change once they are grown up. Society is already heavily negative that could be judged from their comments in response to this news. They do not want to alter their ways and want a prime minister coming direct from heaven.

Azad khial Jan 11, 2017 05:48pm

@M.Malik And where is home for you sir? You seem to be a sad person who looks for the dark lining no matter how silver the cloud. What possible good can come from your deplorable pessimism. And we have an abundance of your ilk. As a proud Pakistani I wish you well in your sad state as our country slowly turns a difficult corner.

KT Jan 11, 2017 05:51pm

Nice to know Pakistan will be nation of equality and liberal principles the deeds will bear fruits of boosted trade and tourism from entire world.

The_Truth Jan 11, 2017 05:55pm

PM should always speak in favour of minorities bcoz if the supreme leader is saying such words the fears among the minorities decreases. I know that it would take decades to change the mindset of Pakistani majorities towards the minorities. But PMs words are appreciable. Thanks.

MoTh Jan 11, 2017 06:01pm

I see a leader in PM Nawaz Sherif if not a lip service.

RajasthanI Jan 11, 2017 06:17pm

Thanks a lot for your views PM Sharif. Respect from India.

yaqut khan Jan 11, 2017 06:19pm

I think in Pakistan the majoirity are at threats.in blasts the people belonging to majoirity community have been killed.

TomthuMb Jan 11, 2017 06:30pm

Nice words at least from a PM on this issue. Every little helps.

syed zafar kazmI U.S Jan 11, 2017 06:29pm

All words; very little action. NECTA is a dead body; NAP is in deep slumber. South Punjab is a haven of peace & prosperity for the terrorists. Jhangavi is the new elected member of the National Assembly. This is the practical picture of the lip service of the PM

Mithu Jan 11, 2017 06:37pm

Now walk the talk P. M. If all the PM's and Govt could have taken this approach we did not have all the bloodshed in the Country.

kaliraja thangamani Jan 11, 2017 06:36pm

Thanks to PM of Pakistan.Your dreams are reality in India.But I appreciates you greatly because your background is rich in culture wise. You are a great man. I salute you Sir.

GOWALMANDIA Jan 11, 2017 06:41pm

OMG. Are you kidding me? Minorities in Pakistan. What is happening to AHMADIES and other minorities. Come on Nawaz Shareef Sahib. Be realistic and truthful. Please donot make Pakistan make a laughing stock.We had enough and enough is enough

at Jan 11, 2017 06:39pm

@AW only implementation...laws are already there.

KT Shamim Jan 11, 2017 06:53pm

@SaleemudDinAA

It would've been nice if the PM announced today to allow the Ahmadis to use their place of worship to coincide with this important speech.

Even after a month The place is occupied by administration & Ahmadis are deprived from their place of worship.

Great speech by PM just 4km away from Domlial where an Ahmadi Place of worship was attacked and vandalised by a mob.

Truth Jan 11, 2017 06:49pm

@Azad khial - Your ilk will always see a silver lining when your pockets are also lined with means of corruption. I pity that you bury your head in the sad, or perhaps have never ventured out of your cave or la la land of fantasy and make believe.

Rest of see the reality and call it as we see it. How does it feel to be so ignorant that you choose not to hear no evil, see no evil....? Have you even left Punjab to see rest of the country?

PML-N Supporters could never tell the difference between action and empty slogans and electionairing postures. Rest of us are not fooled so easily.

M. Malik Jan 11, 2017 06:57pm

@Azad khial - Ok Mr. Ever Optimistic, here's a challenge for you. If you are so upbeat about having 'turned the difficult corner' name:

  • One Pakistani city which has abundance of clean drinking water?
  • One city which never suffers from blackouts and load shedding?
  • One city that is completely at peace and has no security issues?
  • One city that has quality schools, medical facilities, and thriving economy?

I'll make it even easier for you: Name just one city within Pakistan, where NS can roam around freely and mingle with local people, unhampered who are so proud of his achievements and are satisfied with what he has delivered!?

I bet we will never hear back from you! So there!!!

Parag Jan 11, 2017 06:58pm

Thanks from Heart.. "Humanity and Equality" that's it what is required for Peace in World.. I salute PM Nawaz for this message and hope he delivers strongly on it. As a Hindu Indian I want to wish him All the Sucsess.. and I am sharing PM message on my FB so that we in India come to know about Pakistan Good Gesture.

Zulfi Jan 11, 2017 06:58pm

Please walk the talk and take action against all sectarian outfits as well

syed zafar kazmI U.S Jan 11, 2017 07:06pm

@Azad khial I and many more at least 20 now when I'm jotting down these words totally agree with M. Malik. His analysis & commentary are fact based & self critique is not pessimism but a positive faculty of human wisdom that opens road to improvement, enhancement and excellence otherwise people or nations live in a world of self deception and continue to spiral down. With corruption so widespread and deep, economy and industry in shambles, education and other institutions suffering immeasurably, international debt soaring, terrorism still raging, foreign ministry nonexistent that is why diplomatic failures such as Mr. Malik pointed out are commonplace, in this environment what breathing soul can have the eyes and vision you possess to have your kind of optimism? Come out of your state of hubris, see and feel the hurt of the nation and pray for its recovery from the sttangle hold of corrupt politicians sucking the lifeblood of this hapless nation.

Naveed Jan 11, 2017 07:34pm

Actions speaks louder than words. So far the words only.

Azad khial Jan 11, 2017 07:32pm

@M. Malik Do you have any suggestions (more insightful than "let's eliminate corruption, d'uh!") or is criticism the best you can do??

S A Ahmad Jan 11, 2017 07:42pm

All religions advocate peace. Religens whome profess killing, persecution and terror are man made changes in divine religens.No such instructions issued by God.These are misinterpretation of God's commandments.

Truth Jan 11, 2017 07:46pm

@Azad khial - So you cannot meet the challenge he presented to you, but can only retort with 'duh!? How very intelligent!

Abdul Hameed Nayyar Jan 11, 2017 07:54pm

A suggestion to the Prime Minister. What you have said is what should be a part of school curriculum. We can raise better, more tolerant, understanding and peaceful citizens if they hear these words in their tender age. Please ask educational authorities to introduce a separate course , or part 2 of social studies, that teaches students how to behave in a multi-religious society, tells them good aspects of all the faiths, significance of their festivals, how to join them and greet them in their festivals, etc. This is also true of different sects of Islam. But, I am sure you understand that this should also be accompanied by a suitable restraining action against hate mongers.

XYZ Jan 11, 2017 08:02pm

"Talk is cheap", as the saying goes. Nice words from the PM on minorities rights. Now, its the time to do something about it in practice. Make new laws? Amend old laws? Deal with extremists?

Anwar Sadiqque Jan 11, 2017 08:10pm

Wow, very heartening.

Sab Se Pehle Pakistan Jan 11, 2017 08:16pm

On the other hand. The nation is strongly talking about Panama Leaks and Lahore Model Town massacre.

Ghani k Jan 11, 2017 08:17pm

A noble gesture but mere words don't bring out changes . Practical steps do. First of all he should see to it that blasphemy law is applied after thorough investigation , also hold the false accusers equally punishable under this law.

Mahmood Jan 11, 2017 08:25pm

@Azad khial - And what is your suggestion to eliminate corruption in the country? Or your role is only to insult all those who critique this government for its countless failures and misplaced priorities?

Your glowing depiction ha not met anyone's approval, nor can you present an alternative to the negative sentiments presented here, with live and valid examples of this government's successes?? Or even how things can be turned around?

East indian Jan 11, 2017 08:44pm

I am listening....

bramh mishra Jan 11, 2017 08:53pm

It is hoped most all Pakistanis understand this message and recognize the need to alter their thinking about life

It would be a great step forward for mankind led by the PM

Sixer from Chakwal Jan 11, 2017 09:19pm

@KHALID YOUSAFZAI (UK) Thanks bro and fully agreed to you

HAMZA KHAN Jan 11, 2017 09:20pm

Not a fan, but very good step. Kudos.

Ahsan gul Jan 11, 2017 09:21pm

All my young years I have been listening sweet talks like this but can this happen just by PM's saying? Absolutely not. Human behavior is set in early years of growing up. We have plenty of hate groups, religious factions that are constantly busy spreading discord among people. Practical thing would be to prepare children in schools, institute policies in government offices and in private sector against hatred to overcome this curse.

KHALID YOUSAFZAI (UK) Jan 11, 2017 09:44pm

NS will never read these comments. even if he does, it won't effect him as he has no time for these comments. "He will keep the cat in the bag".

rohit Jan 11, 2017 09:57pm

Respect Nawaz sahib.. humanity is the core of every religion

Tariq Laeeq Jan 11, 2017 10:02pm

Action speak louder than words. What action have you taken to protect the minorities?

Hopeful Jan 11, 2017 11:49pm

For once he spoke smartly. Good job Nawaz Shariff.

Arif Jan 11, 2017 11:59pm

Good going

sheroo Jan 12, 2017 12:44am

Very true Mr Prime Minister. I applaud your bold and direct approach and pray it leads to its natural conclusion and not just a point earning talk for elections.

Mansingh Jan 12, 2017 01:12am

For this I respect the pm of pak atleast pm is realising the problems of minorities. Jai hind

isb Jan 12, 2017 01:24am

Pm likes building castles in sky in future tenses. Nothing gonna change , it's just empty rhetoric to give false hopes, like the women protection bill, honour killing bill which has caught dust.

Zaki Jan 12, 2017 01:24am

You want minorities to be respected? First step would be to take the word "minorities" out and let them be referred to as just "Pakistanis".

Hari Har Jan 12, 2017 02:59am

People of Pakistan are very cultured, highly caring and affectionate towards Indians regardless of the religion. Mr Nawaz Sharif's statement reiterates Mr Jinha's vision of secularism and inclusion. Pakistan will emegerge as a true people's power in coming days with this much needed positive evolution and harness its greatness. Congratulations Mr Prime Minister.

jay tuli Jan 12, 2017 04:02am

Sir many thanks.

patriot Jan 12, 2017 05:46am

If Nawaz walks the talk that will be wonderful. Poor Asia Bibi should be set free. False allegations made against her are to settle personal enmity. People who misuse law should be put behind the bar.

M. Siddique Jan 12, 2017 07:23am

Mr. PM, first you must take action against those outfits who conduct violence against minorities. Stop protecting them and stop pretending that you don't know who they are. No action is clear patronization of criminals.

imtiaz ali khan Jan 12, 2017 08:03am

@ABE Amen

Sachin Jan 12, 2017 08:39am

Noble thoughts. Great man. Respects from India

Ak Jan 12, 2017 08:58am

Too little too late...

apakmuslim Jan 12, 2017 11:43am

All those fine spoken words, be executed flawless. That will be the ultimate win for everyone.

Syed azhar Jan 12, 2017 07:32pm

No one going to believe on his speach, cause PML just speak but never keep there words ,