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Friday, August 21, 2009

Celebration of Minorities Week 5th to 11th August, 2009. (2009-8)


Celebration of Minorities Week 5th to 11th August, 2009:- Minorities are an important segment of the society and in the eyes of constitution hold equal civil rights. The Honorable Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani in his maiden address to the Parliament on 29th March, 2008 had declared his determination in unequivocal words to safeguard the political, social, legal, religious and other rights of minorities. The commitment of the present government towards the cause of the minorities is inherited from the vision and policy measures initiated by the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mothrama Benazir Bhutto. In order to focus on the socio-economic problems and realize effective political participation and take up development related issues faced by the minorities in Pakistan, the present government also appointed Minister for Minorities who is from the minority community (Christian). It was due to initiative of the Minister and policies pursued by the present government that for the first time in the history of Pakistan. 11th August was declared as “Minorities Day” vide notification No. 5(7)/DS(FA-1)/2008-M dated 23rd October 2008. This day was chosen in view of the historical contest and the speech delivered in the Constituent Assembly by the father of nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on 11th August, 1947, which ensured equality for the minorities and non-discrimination in the society so far as organs of the state are concerned.
It is in this backdrop that it would be appropriate to mention here that the Ministry has been officially celebrating eleven festivals of the minorities annually which include Christmas. Diwali, Holi, Easter, Baisakhi, Guru Nanak’s birthday, Nauroze, Festival of Lights, Eid-e-Rizwan and Chelumjusht etc.
Also credit goes to the present government for introducing 5% quota in the federal jobs across the board. It is understood that this small step shall prove to be a big achievement for the minorities in future as it will bring about a greater social change in their life. The Ministry is under directive from the Awian-e-Sadr, Islamabad that in order to reach out to the minority communities in Pakistan, the government organs should take bold steps, which speak for the solidarity with the minorities. The Ministry is, therefore, celebrating the forthcoming 11th August with the view to disseminate befitting message to the minorities regarding their positive role and contribution to Pakistani society.In order to commemorate the first ever Minorities Day being observed on August 11, 2009 and the weeklong activities, Pakistan Post is issuing a commemorative postage stamp of Rs.5/- denomination on 11th August specially designed for this occasion.