Christian community an essential part of our social fabric: Masood
"Contrary to India where attempts are being made to eliminate all minorities including Muslims to turn it into a Hindu fanatic state, Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir has been a haven of peace and brotherhood for religious minorities, and the followers of other religions over the centuries," said the AJK President Sardar Masood Khan while speaking at a tea party hosted in honor of Christian community at Aiwan-e-Sadr here on Monday.
The function was attended by leader of Christian community Dr Pervaiz Shan, Pastor Faizan, Sonia Bhatti and a large number of leaders and members of the community.
The state president said that today religious harmony, brotherhood and restraint were more needed than ever in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. The Christian community side by side with the majority has always played a positive role in promoting interfaith harmony in the liberated territory, he added.
Sardar Masood Khan said that although Christians are less in number in Azad Kashmir, but the Muslims hold them in high esteem. He stressed that the Muslims in the light of Islamic teachings, should promote interfaith harmony, and provide full protection to the minorities and their rights.
He maintained that non-Muslims not only enjoy socio-economic rights in the Muslim states but every individual has the full right of living the life as per his religion and faith. "When Great Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him) had established the state of Medina, he had declared respect of all religions mandatory," he said adding that we fully believe in promoting interfaith harmony and restraint in the light of Koran and Sunnah, and are taking all possible measures to protect the minority rights.
The AJK president said that the demands regarding worship places, education and jobs for the Christian community in the liberated territory are valid, and the government will gradually address all their issues on priority basis. He also assured the Christian community that all hurdles in the way of obtaining state subject certificate for the them would be removed.
While extending Christmas and New Year greetings to the Christian community, Sardar Masood Khan said that the doors of Aiwan-e-Sadr were open to all minorities including Christians, and the minorities would continue to be invited to Aiwan-e-Sadr on the occasions of their festival.
Touching upon the latest situation of occupied Kashmir, the AJK president said that the Muslims of the held territory were being subjected to repression because of their Muslim identity, and their lives have been made miserable in their own homeland.
Declaring India's secularism as a fraud, he said that Narendra Modi's fanatic government is toeing the philosophy of Hindu supremacy, and is perpetrating the worst brutalities against non-Hindu minorities.
Recently, he maintained that a new citizenship law has been introduced to usurp the civic rights of Muslims and other minorities so as to turn India into a purely Hindu state free of followers of other religions.
Contrary to the Indian government, he went on to say that minorities are an integral part of the Muslim society of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, and besides enjoying all rights, they get every kind of protection from the Muslim majority and the government.