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LAHORE: The Human Rights and Minorities Affairs (HR&MA) Department Punjab in collaboration with a non-governmental organisation, BARGAD, celebrated Diwali with the Hindu community here on Friday.

The celebrations featured the burning of oil lamps, cake cutting, sweets, fruit distribution, vegetarian dinner and messages by dignitaries and political leaders to show solidarity with the Hindu community in Pakistan.

A large number of students of different universities and notable figures of different faiths celebrated the event together. It was first such experience for many students to appreciate Pakistan’s cultural richness.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Human Right and Minority Affairs Muhammad Masood said the Punjab government was striving hard to ensure rights for all minorities and provide them equal opportunities in all fields of life.

MPA Youdester Chohan referred to the historical speech of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in which he had 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.”

Secretary Punjab Assembly Inayat Ullah Lak expressed that the development of the country will accelerate with the promotion of religious minorities. Professor Ashok Kumar briefed the participants about the history of Diwali which signifies spiritual uplift and victory of light over darkness. The rituals normally last for five days with the climax occurring on the third day that coincides with the darkest night of the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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