PM Raja Ashraf for calling minorities as non-Muslim citizens
06 March, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday said that Pakistan People's Party has strived hard to eliminate the word minority from the narrative and instead addresses them as non-Muslim Pakistanis.
He was addressing a select group of students comprising children of non-Muslim Pakistanis who were awarded scholarships under a special scheme to encourage non-Muslim citizens in the country.
The prime minister said constitution of Pakistan envisages: "We are all Pakistanis irrespective of cast, colour and creed."
It is therefore the duty of the state to provide them basic facilities like education without any discrimination, the prime minister said.
"There can be no discrimination among citizens who raise the same flag as every citizen enjoys equal rights under the constitution," he said. The prime minister said it is the duty of the state to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens.
The prime minister urged the children to work hard for the glory of the nation by proving themselves as able citizens of the country.
In a meeting with State Information Minister Sumsam Ali Bukhari, the prime minister said that the PPP-led democratic government had introduced a positive and healthy political culture in the country.
The policy of reconciliation and politics of coalition governments at federal and provincial levels have helped rid politics of vendetta and victimisation, he said.
The prime minister said that during the last five years, the government had instituted policies and programmes for the welfare and progress of the poor and needy. "Economic uplift of the people and to provide them relief in their daily lives has been the government's priority," he added.
The prime minister expressed the confidence that the PPP would emerge victorious in the upcoming polls and execute such policies and programmes, which would deliver dividends to the people of Punjab.
In another meeting with MNA Mahreen Anwar Raja, the prime minister said government was fully committed to create a conducive environment for holding peaceful, fair and transparent general election in the country.
He said that socio-economic development of the country rests on political stability. The present political dispensation led by the PPP had taken several measures to solidify the democratic system and strengthen state institutions in the country, the prime minister added.
He said that the government is taking all possible measures to improve law and order situation in the country. He emphasised that democracy is the only panacea for Pakistan's ills.
"History bears testimony to the fact that Pakistan's march towards progress was hampered and strangulated during the authoritarian regimes and the country's development held back due to intermittent interruptions in the system," he added.
The prime minister said it was the peoples' right to choose their representatives through elections and whosoever wins should be allowed to govern the country.