Minorities in Pakistan have shrunk from 30% to 3%. We can shamefully but accurately say that we, as a state and as a society, have collectively failed to protect them.
With discriminating against them in each and every sphere, Pakistan has a long and disgraceful history of persecuting them as well. Especially in the wake of recent events, it has further made them insecure and has made them question their place and their rights in this 97% Muslim country.
When the sentiments of such nature are on the rise, it is responsibility of the government, religious leaders as well as all of us as part of the society to realise our role and perform it to secure the marginalized.
Government of Pakistan took a brilliant initiative in this regard and took a first strong step towards social inclusiveness. GoP organized a Diwali celebration at PNCA (Pakistan National Council of the Arts) on November 8th 2018.
Diwali or Deepwali is one of the most anticipated and waited for Hindu festival celebrated in Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. This event is also referred to as the ‘festival of lights’. The five day long celebration symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over dark.
It is linked with King Rama’s return to his kingdom Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. Before returning back to his kingdom, Rama spent 14 years in exhile and was welcomed among his people by lighting up rows of clay lamps.
The victory of light or good over the evil is celebrated by lighting up houses, shops and public places. Though Pakistan has narrowed down on its pluralistic nature, the night in PNCA yesterday was colourful, liberating, full of love and thoroughly inclusive.
Here are the pictures of the event:
Minister of Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony, Noor-Ul-Haq Qadri also spoke at the event, giving a message of peace, love and tolerance and extending his warmst wishes to the Hindu community. Here is what he had to say:
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