Islamabad: I wish to compliment the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance and Mr. Paul Jacob Bhatti Advisor to Prime Minister, Ministry of National Harmony, for organizing this event today to pay homage to the memory of late Shahbaz Bhatti.
Late Shahbaz Bhatti will be remembered as a man of great personal courage and conviction. He was in the forefront of the struggle for protecting the minorities from exploitation and discrimination. In the pursuit of this struggle Shahbaz Bhatti refused to be deterred despite threats to his life. He spent his life fighting for the cause of the downtrodden and marginalised sections of the society particularly the minorities.
Shahbaz Bhatti had great respect for diversity and dissent and believed that in the apparent diversity of faiths lay a profound harmony that needed to be articulated and promoted. He used every available forum to promote interfaith harmony. Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto held him in high esteem and informally made him as the PPP’s global Ambassador for interfaith harmony.
Tolerance and respect for dissent and diversity lies at the root of peace and harmony. Peace will continue to elude us until we learn to respect the right to dissent and admit to the multiplicity of faiths and cultures. No true religion teaches or preaches intolerance and extremism. Indeed all true religions stress tolerance and co-existence of people of all faiths.
Today while we pay homage to late Shahbaz Bhatti we also reiterate our resolve to the principles and guidelines of our religion, the Constitution and the teachings of the Founder of the Nation in ensuring the protection of the rights of minorities and marginalised sections of society.
We will not permit discrimination against any one on the basis of religion and faith. We believe in the flowering of the society where every individual is free to partake in the development of the country and in the shaping of his or her destiny.
To pay homage to Shahbaz Bhatti let us resolve to work for promoting interfaith harmony as our best hope for fighting militancy and extremism and for establishing in Pakistan a just and pluralistic society.
For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
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