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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the minorities, particularly the Christians, Parsis and Hindus, have played a remarkable role in the education, health, and economic sectors of the country. “Their services started much before participation and the brilliant students passed out from the educational institutions established by Christians and Hindus became the backbone in the struggle for Pakistan.

Speaking as a chief guest in the Independence of Pakistan celebrations at St Joseph College, he said quoting from Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s speeches said: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” He said today we should remember the words of the Quaid-e-Azam: “Pakistan, which symbolises the aspirations of a nation that found itself in a minority in the Indian subcontinent, can not be unmindful of the minorities within its own borders.”

The CM said that the message of the father of nation for minorities was clear and loud. “We respect you (minorities), we own you and appreciate your services for this nation to which you belong.”

Shah said that St. Joseph, St Patrick’s, Convent of Jesus and Mary in Karachi and in Hyderabad St. Mary’s, St Bonaventure’s High School and various other educational institutions were established by our Christian brothers. Similarly, the Hindus of Sindh also worked hard for the promotion of education. They established leading schools such as NJV (Narayan Jagannath Vaidya), the Vasant Pathshala School (now called Govt College for Women- Burns Road) established by Hirdaram Mewaram and Jamshed Nusserwanji Metha.

He said in its establishment Hindus, Parsi and Muslim community members donated generously.

Murad Shah also gave examples of the NED (Nadirshaw Eduljee Dinshaw), Mama Parsi, Holy Family and Seventh Day hospitals and various other educational and health institutions established by minority leaders. He said that these institutions produced such a brilliant generation that took active part in the struggle for Pakistan.

Shah said: “the minorities are the beauty of this country, particularly of Sindh where people believe in plural society and co-existence.” He said Sindh being the land of Sufis has attracted and assimilated people of different faiths and languages together. He recalled Hindus scholar like Dr Gurbakhshani and Kalyan Advani for compiling Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai’s work (Shah Jo Risalo), adding though Shah Bhittai was a Muslim poet and scholar yet he believed in humanity and equality; therefore, he attracted people of different faiths, sects and school of thought around him.

He extended his best wishes to everyone present on the eve of the Independence of our nation. “I also extend my greetings to the members of the Pakistani diaspora, who have represented the motherland well wherever they have made home,” he said and added Pakistan is our identity that we earned through immense sacrifices. “Our elders sacrificed their present for our future - today we remember our forefathers and pay tribute to them for sacrificing all they had to give us this identity.”

He said today, we pay homage to Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah for providing us with sincere and honest leadership that we consider as a gift of God.

Murad Ali Shah paid tribute to the Catholic schools for their great services and contributions to the development of the nation.

He said: “We have an abundance of natural resources and we are extremely grateful to God for all these precious gifts - whereas this Day reminds us of the kindness of God, it also invites us to ponder the fate of our children, our most precious assets.”

The CM said that the youth of our country has the power to change the nation. “Someone rightly said that the future hinges on the young generation,” he said adding that one of the main motives for celebrating Independence Day was to make the young generation aware of the sacrifices we have made to make this country a better place for them.

On the occasion, Minister Education Syed Sardar Shah and Minister for Minorities, Gianchand Israni also spoke.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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