ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Christian community celebrates Equality Day on August 11.

by Shamim Masih

The Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM) is celebrating the Equality Day instead Minorities Day in Rawalpindi where leaders of minorities from Pakistan participated.

The leaders present a paper on how minorities are being targeted by the extremists in Pakistan, when we are equal citizen of the country, they said.

The government had declared August 11 as minorities’ day in 2009 by the efforts of then minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti who was shot dead in the country’s capital in 2011.

The day signifies Quaid-e-Azam’s speech to Constituent Assembly on August 11 1947 in which he had said, “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

The government is in no mood of celebrating minorities’ day.

However, Information Minister Pervez Rashid said that the day was falling during Eid holidays.

“Though Pakistan is going through a testing time—but minorities are on our priority list,” he added.

Talking to the gathering at Christian Study Centre – CSC Albert David, Chairman PUCM criticized the government declaring them a second class citizen in the country. Minorities have been ignored by the current government. August 11 was not only a day where Christians were especially made part of the whole nation, but a clear and wider picture was given to the members of the Constituent Assembly, he added

Tahir Naveed Chaudhry Ex-MPA has launched a new political party on minorities’ day, 11 August. Talking to the media at the launching ceremony of Pakistan Minority Alliance- PMA he said that he will continue the struggle of Shaheed Shanbaz Bhatti, who played his role for Pakistani Minorities. I am the true follower of the Shahbaz Bhatti (late) and will continue the mission he started, he said.

Samuel Yaqoob chairman Muslim Masihi Ithad has protested on this day outside the Press Club Islamabad. He claimed that we have the equal rights according to the founders’ speech but the religious extremists are trying to draw a line between citizens of the country.