‘Constitution guarantees equal rights to minorities’

By Asim Hussain

ISLAMABAD: Special Representative to the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Wednesday urged minorities not to scare from anyone as the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan guarantees equal rights to all.
Addressing National Conference for Women organized by Interfaith Harmony Council, he said people of all religions played their role in the creation of Pakistan and most of Muslims were duty bound to take careof minorities.
Islam did not allow forced conversions and teaches us to respect faiths and sacred personalities of all religions. Not a single incident of blasphemy occurred in the country during the last eight months, he said adding, the government would never allow use of blasphemy law for personal gains.
Referring to terror attack on a Church, he said the seminaries students were first who rushed to the venue to donate bloods to their Christian brothers and likewise during a terror attack on a mosque, the Christians donated their bloods to Muslim brothers.
He said Islam was the first religion to provide unprecedented rights to women. Islam stresses protecting the rights of wives, daughters and the Holy Quran provided inheritance rights to the daughters. Islam allows women to do business.
“We should promote interfaith harmony by arranging frequent get together of the believers of all religions,†he said. Quoting the verses of Holy Quran, he said, the killings of one human being was tantamount to killing of the whole mankind and the saving the life of a person was like saving the lives of whole mankind.
Lauding the goodwill gestures of Palestinian Christians during Israeli attacks, he said the Christians opened the gates of churches for Muslims and allowed them to offer prayers and break their fasts there during Ramzan-ul-Mubarak.
Commenting on Afghan’s situation, he said, Pakistan wanted peace and tranquility in Afghanistan and would never allow use of its land against any country.