August 11, is a special day in our national calendar, when we reaffirm our commitment to the ideals of Quaid-e-Azam to continue striving for the protection of the rights of followers of all faiths and bringing them into the mainstream of national life. On this day we reiterate our pledge to honour the commitment made by our great leaders of according equal treatment to all our citizens irrespective of their religion, caste and creed.
History reveals that the Muslims always strived for the rights of minorities. In the early days of Islam, when the Muslims were in majority in Madinah, they dealt with non-Muslims with respect and extended protection to their rights. Equality and protection of the rights for minorities has always been a priority for the Government.
It was on this day in 1947, when our Quaid, in his historic address to the Constituent Assembly, outlined the contours of a modern and tolerant Pakistan in which people of all faiths will have equal rights and opportunities. This vision of a tolerant and modern Pakistan was also embodied in the consensus Constitution of 1973. Let us reiterate today that we will uphold the ideals of equal rights and complete freedom to every citizen to freely profess and practice his or her religion.
It is encouraging to note that the Government of Pakistan has taken considerable steps for protection of the rights of minorities and to ensure religious and cultural independence at all levels.
We greatly appreciate and acknowledge huge contributions made by our minorities towards socio-economic development of the country. Being equal citizens of Pakistan, we share our joys and sorrows jointly. The observance of this day reflects our national commitment to unite and to integrate people of all faiths in the national life.
On this day let us reiterate our commitment to promote interfaith harmony so that our society becomes a cradle of peace and prosperity.