ISLAMABAD: A national minority day was for the first time observed in Pakistan aimed at promoting minorities’ protection and work to ensure their fundamental rights as guaranteed in the Constitution of 1973.
A rally was, in this regard, held in Islamabad organized by the Minorities Alliance Pakistan. Speakers at the rally highlighted issues facing religious minorities and called an end to the forced conversion especially of Hindu girls in Sindh.
They also demanded that non-Muslims should be treated as equal citizens of Pakistan in accordance with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. They said the ban on non-Muslim to become the president and prime minister of the country was discriminatory and should be lifted by amending the constitution.
In Karachi, hundreds of people from all walks of life gathered at Frere Hall to campaign against issues faced by minorities in society and urge the government to respect their rights.
The march was attended by politicians, lawyers, and human rights activists, including Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Junior, the only son of slain PPP leader Murtaza Bhutto.
The participants of the march clad in traditional saaris and colorful turbans chanted slogans against the biased system in unison and danced to the beat of Hindu garbas.
A drama depicting the perils of minority communities in Pakistan was also performed at the march by Tehrik-e-Niswan, cultural action group.
In other cities, seminars, walks and rallies were also held and the participants highlighted the role played by the minorities in the Pakistan movement and later in the development and progress of Pakistan.
The speakers in these gatherings asked the state to ensure protection of the minorities including their worship places and give them their rights as citizens of Pakistan.