Islamabad: Minister of State for National Harmony, Akram Masih Gill has said that inter-religious and inter-culture dialogues are need of the hour to promote interfaith harmony in order to bring peace and stability in the society.
The Minister expressed these views while addressing concluding session of leadership conference and worship programme here on Wednesday.
He stressed on the need of holding maximum number of seminars, events and meetings on inter-religious and inter-culture dialogues to promote common values of different religious in order to bring the peoples of different beliefs closer to each other aimed at promoting peace, understating and interfaith harmony.
The Minister renewed his commitment to draw the minorities in the main stream of national life as they have been playing vital role in the development of Pakistan and have contributed in every sphere of life.
He said government is committed to uplift the social and economic condition of the minorities by imparting them education and promoting interfaith harmony in the society.
He said government is trying its best to explore scholarships for minorities students at the international educational institutions and for the purpose they are working on the issue. He urged the students in remain in contact with the ministry to be updated on the matter.
Government is also trying its best to provide the minorities with opportunities of education in the country and for the purpose the amount of scholarship for minorities’ students is being increased from Rs.16 to 20 million, he added.
He said government is trying to resolve the legal issues of the minorities and working on act of registration of marriages of certain minorities, including Hindus, Sikhs and Baha’is, which will soon be tabled in the national assembly to finalize it.
The minister said the government has taken many steps for the protection and promotion of minorities’ rights like the reservation of 5% quota in government services, reservation of four seats for minorities in the Senate, declaration of 11th August as the Minorities
Day, including observance of optional holidays and celebration of the festivals of minorities at official level. Quota of 5% will also be ensured in the institutions of army and judiciary, he added.
He said separate places have been allocated for minorities in jails so that they can comfortably perform their religious rituals. Interfaith committees have been formed at 124 districts in order to address any emergency issue of minorities.
He said interfaith harmony can bring peace and economic development in the country and for the purpose interfaith committees have been established aimed at promoting better relationship among people of different faiths.
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