Govt committed to protecting minorities’ rights: CM

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STAFF REPORT

LAHORE

A delegation of Sikh community led by Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Ejaz Aalam Augustine called on Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar here on Sunday.

The delegation comprised MPA Mahindar Pall Singh, Pram Jeet Singh Sarna,  Harmindear Singh Sarna and Roupa Kour.

The delegation thanked the chief minister for amicably settling the matter of the marriage of a Sikh girl in Nankana Sahib.

Talking on the occasion, the chief minister said the PTI government was acting to protect the rights of the Sikh community and other minorities.

The Sikh community enjoys complete freedom in holding their religious ceremonies, he said and added that Sikh brethren had come very nearer to Pakistan which had no resemblance in the past.

He said that Sikh community, from around the world, was supporting the stance of Pakistan on the core issue of Kashmir and they also take part in the public processions being organized in the support of Kashmiris in different countries of the world.

Pakistan was a peaceful country and we believe in peace, he added. The Punjab government recently organized Sikh conventions which were attended by the Sikh community from around the world, he said and added, “We are happy to host our Sikh brethren”.

The Punjab government has laid the foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib which would be completed at a cost of around Rs 6 billion. Along with it, Rs 150 million have been provided for the repair and maintenance of roads in Nankana Sahib to provide best-traveling facilities to the Sikh pilgrims, he added.

He reiterated that Pakistan would continue to provide different facilities so that local Sikh community and the Sikhs coming from India could make it to their sacred places besides respecting their religious traditions. Every Pakistani always takes care of well-being and protection of minority communities more than anything else, he maintained.

He said that provision of facilities and security to the Sikh pilgrims coming for attending the 550th birthday celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak.

The CM said that around Rs one billion had been allocated for the welfare of minorities and minority empowerment package had been introduced as well.

The new Pakistan is following the golden principles of tolerance, brotherhood and harmony, he said and added the government of Pakistan had taken serious steps to open the Kartarpur Corridor to facilitate the Sikh community.