LAHORE: Speakers at an event held in connection with Diwali festival, falling on Oct 24, expressed solidarity with the Hindu community in Pakistan, stressing the need for religious harmony and tolerance and the importance of the minorities’ rights.
The event was organised by the Punjab Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Department, in collaboration with a civil society organisation, on Thursday.
The event featured lighting of lamps, cake-cutting ceremony, sweets and fruits distribution, a vegetarian dinner and messages delivered by dignitaries and leaders to show solidarity with the members of Hindu community and other minorities living in Pakistan, according to a press release.
On the occasion, Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Secretary Muhammad Masood Mukhtar said the department was working hard to ensure rights of all minorities and provide them equal opportunities in all fields of life.
Punjab Assembly Secretary Inayatullah Lak said: “With the promotion of religious minorities, the development of our country will accelerate.”
MPA Youdester Chohan referred to Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s Aug 11, 1947, speech where the country’s founder assured the minorities of complete religious freedom. MPAs Zainab Umair and Shahida Ahmed said all the people living in Pakistan enjoyed equal citizenship.
“Joint celebrations like these are an important feature of celebrating the diversity Pakistan as one nation.”
Prof Ashok Kumar Khatri from the Punjab University, along with activist Amarnath Randhawa, briefed the participants about the history of Diwali, which signified spiritual uplift and victory of light over darkness.
Students from various universities also attended the event. For many of them, it was their first such experience.
Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2022