Expressing solidarity, PM Kakar reiterates resolve to protect minorities

Faisalabad, AUG 21: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar addresses a ceremony organised in solidarity with the members of the Christian community who fell victim to mob violence in Tehsil Jaranwala.=DNA PHOTO

JARANWALA, AUG 21 (DNA) — Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Monday visited Jaranwala to express solidarity with Christian families affected in the incident, wherein a violent mob ransacked and torched churches and attacked the community’s residences following an alleged incident of blasphemy.

Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman, Caretaker Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Naqvi, federal caretaker ministers, senior officials and members of the Christian community were also present on the occasion.

The caretaker PM also distributed cheques among the affected families and reviewed the renovation and rehabilitation work of churches and other structures that were damaged by “miscreants”.

Addressing a gathering, PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar assured all the minority communities in the country that government was committed to protect their lives and properties and the perpetrators of heinous attacks against them would be brought to justice.

“We are the followers of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and the Founder of the nation and it is binding upon us under the constitution, which encourages us to respond to such atrocities,” he said.

The caretaker prime minister said that they would never condone the persecutors of minorities, and stressed that if anyone caused harm to minorities, the laws of the country would take its course by ensuring that such like incidents should not happen in future.

The entire society and the government would not cower down before the dark forces but would stand shoulder to shoulder with the victim communities, he said adding that they would become voice of the voiceless with the tangible and meaningful support. “Our actions will speak louder than our speeches,” PM Kakar said.

The caretaker PM further said that the minorities in Pakistan were struggling for the protection of the rights of others across the region, adding that people who had attacked the Christian community in the area were the enemies of humanity.

He said that they were assuring them of the government’s support not out of any compulsion, but due to their conviction. The incident that occurred in the area alluded to a pervasive issue in the society which had been experiencing extremism, radicalism and aggressive behaviour and manifested that such behaviour did not belong to any religion, sect or group rather indicated an innate human behaviour which spread like cancerous disease, he opined.

The prime minister regretted the unfortunate incident that occurred after the caretaker government took oath. The prime minister, referring to Islamic history, said that under Quaid’s vision, it was their utmost responsibility, to protect the minorities. It was the duty of Muslims to protect the honour, life and properties of the Christian community, he added.

The prime minister said a society could thrive under rule of law, and become stable on the basis of one principle, the sense of justice among the masses, which ensured a society and state to survive. He also expressed his gratitude to the upcoming Chief Justice of Pakistan, the caretaker chief minister and the military leadership for their support to the victims and reiterated that there would be no compromise on the minorities’ rights.

The prime minister warned that no one could predict the future, but in case, any miscreant or group that harboured evil designs against minorities including Sikh, Hindu, or others, would find the authority of the government on the side of the affected segments, shielding them against any harm.

Recalling the Christian community members contributions in the society, the prime minister also recollected his early education imparted by the Christian teachers. The caretaker prime minister said white was not only a colour of the national flag, but it showed the perfection of the country in which minorities filled that beauty of harmony and unity.

The prime minister further assured that they would resist the majoritarianism and such like agenda at the domestic, regional and global levels. Speaking on the occasion, Governor Punjab said that such incidents should be curbed and let not recur, adding the places of worships were worth respected and the regard for all communities should be maintained.

The chief minister, on the occasion, said that main culprits were already in the custody. He assured that the damaged churches would be restored while the compensation cheques would be handed over to all the affected families.

Caretaker Minister for Human Rights Khalil George, in his remarks, regretted the unfortunate incident and thanked the Muslim families of the area for protecting their Christian neighbours.

During his visit to a church, the prime minister reiterated that they would not allow anyone to target the minorities on the basis of religious differences, adding the government, with full might, would stop the hands of aggressors. — DNA