ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has said that religious minorities are a vital part of Pakistani community and their contribution for the progress and prosperity of the country is praiseworthy. The speaker expressed these views while talking to a delegation of Hindu Yatries headed by Kundan Bai Ji, who visited the Parliament House on Monday.

Patron-in-chief Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) Ramesh Kumar, MNA was also present during the meeting. He said that the Parliament and the government is fully cognizant of its responsibility and had safeguarded the rights and liberties enjoyed by all religious minorities guaranteed in the Constitution of Pakistan and guiding principles of the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Speaker Qaiser said that Islam strongly underscores protection of all fundamental rights of minorities thus, it is our religious obligation to protect the rights of our minorities. He said that the incumbent government has taken drastic measures to ensure their constitutional rights in the country.

Referring to the usurpation of the religious and constitutional rights of Kashmiris and the other religious minorities by the Indian government, the speaker said that Kashmiris are suffering under the suppression and tyranny of the Indian Army and it is test of the conscience of the whole world.

He said that the Kashmiri Muslims had been forbidden to practice their religious obligations. He stressed for resolution of Kashmir dispute as per aspirations of people of Kashmir and the resolutions of the United Nations.

He also said that it is incumbent upon the international community to take cognisance of the plight of Kashmiris. The speaker said that Pakistan was rich in tourism potential and has rich cultural and religious heritage.

He said that government had taken an initiative to promote and facilitate religious tourism in Pakistan. He expressed his optimism that the initiative will create interfaith harmony and promote true peaceful and progressive face of Pakistan.

He assured his all-out support in this regard. While mentioning about the government’s initiative of provision of health insurance in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Punjab to all the citizens, the speaker said that it is first of its kind public policy initiative to provide free health services to all citizens. He said that Health Card Scheme would be replicated across the country in view of its successful implementation in the KPK and the Punjab.

He also said that the KPK is the first province which has implemented the policy of autonomy of all health institutes, so that these can take independent decision regarding recruitment and other administrative affairs. Patron-in-Chief PHC Ramesh Kumar, MNA appreciated support of Speaker Qaiser and his encouragement to legislate for protection of minorities.

He said that this delegation would visit all Hindu sites across the country and he also applauded the efficiency and support of the KPK Police during tour to their holy sites in the province. Head of Hindu Yatries delegation Kundan Bai Ji said that this delegation comprised Yatries from various countries.

She said that it was encouraging that the government had well preserved their religious places. She said that she and members of the delegation enjoyed the hospitality and warmth shown by the people of Pakistan. Later on, Kundan Bai ji gifted a digital holy Quran to the speaker National Assembly and Yatries from Spain and the USA also exchanged gifts. The National Assembly speaker also awarded remembrances shield to Kundan Bai ji.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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