Hindu pilgrims meet NA speaker, praise upkeep of religious sites – Journal
ISLAMABAD: The first group of Hindu pilgrims currently visiting the country met with National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on Monday and praised the upkeep and upkeep of Hindu and Sikh-owned religious sites in Pakistan.
Addressing a delegation of Hindu yatris (pilgrims) from different countries in parliament, Mr. Qaiser said religious minorities are an essential part of the Pakistani community and their contribution to the progress and prosperity of the country is commendable. .
The Parliament and the government were fully aware of their responsibilities and had safeguarded the rights and freedoms enjoyed by all religious minorities guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan and the guiding principles of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
Qaiser says minorities are an integral part of Pakistani nation
The visiting delegation, led by Kundan Bai Ji, was informed by the NA spokesperson that Islam places a strong emphasis on the protection of all basic rights of minorities.
“It was our religious obligation to protect the rights of our minorities,” he said.
Mr. Qaiser also underlined the measures taken by the current government to guarantee respect for the rights of religious minorities recognized by the Constitution.
The visit is part of the recent initiative taken by the government to promote religious tourism and give a soft image of the country at the international level.
The program is supported by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), which sponsors lodging and lodging at various religious sites.
The government of Punjab has launched a similar program in collaboration with the ETPB to facilitate the visit of Sikh pilgrims to Kartarpur.
Addressing the pilgrims, the Speaker of the National Assembly spoke of the usurpation of religious and constitutional rights of Kashmiris and other religious minorities by the Indian government.
“The Kashmiris were suffering from the oppression and tyranny of the Indian army and it is a test of conscience for the whole world,” said Mr. Qaiser, adding that Muslims in the occupied territory had been banned even from practicing. their religious obligations.
The speaker told the pilgrims that there was a need for a resolution of the Kashmir conflict in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiris and the resolutions of the United Nations. It is up to the international community to take cognizance of the plight of the Kashmiris, he said.
The speaker said Pakistan has immense tourism potential and offers a rich cultural and religious heritage.
The government took an initiative to promote and facilitate religious tourism in Pakistan, he said, and hoped the initiative would create interfaith harmony and foster a true, peaceful and progressive face of the country.
On the occasion, Pakistani deputy for Tehreek-i-Insaf, Dr Ramesh Vankwani, highlighted various reforms initiated in the country for the benefit of Hindus and other non-Muslim communities.
Ms. Bai, head of the delegation, praised the hospitality and warmth shown by the Pakistani people. She offered a digital Holy Quran to the President of the National Assembly. Yatris from Spain and the United States also exchanged gifts. She said it was encouraging that the government had well preserved their places of worship.
The delegation then traveled to Nankana Sahib, the hometown of the founder of Sikhism Baba Guru Nanak.
Posted in Dawn, le 4 January 2022