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Govt not to allow misuse of blasphemy law: Zardari

May 16, 2012


President Asif Ali Zardari. — Photo by Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD, May 16: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Wednesday that the government was determined not to permit anyone to misuse blasphemy law against minorities or any other vulnerable section of society and was also vigorously promoting inter-faith harmony.

In a meeting with Father Robert McCulloch, Procurator General from the Vatican, at the Presidency, Mr Zardari said the government was determined to harness the potential and contribution of minorities in all walks of life.

Dr Paul Bhatti, Minister In Charge for National Harmony, Mr Akram Masih Gill, State Minister for National Harmony, and spokesperson for the Presidency Senator Farhatullah Babar also attended the meeting.

Mr Zardari congratulated Father Robert McCulloch for the award of Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam, which was conferred on him in recognition of his services spanning over 30 years for the welfare of the people of Pakistan.

During his stay in Pakistan, Father Robert McCulloch devoted himself to improvement of education, health and other social services. He set up the Catholic Centre of academic excellence in Hyderabad to provide free education to children from underprivileged families.

He also set up a health development centre. Father McCulloch’s other major contributions include taking steps to preserve the language of Tharparkar, known as Pakrikohli.

The president commended his services for the people of Pakistan and said that the presence of Father Robert McCulloch at Vatican was a source of strength for Pakistan as he knows the land, people and its diversity. He praised him for projecting a soft image of Pakistan.

Mr Zardari said: “We greatly value and appreciate the contribution of the Christian community in the socio-economic developmental process.”

The president highlighted the constitutional protection to fundamental rights of minorities in Pakistan. He said the government had taken measures to ensure protection of minorities.