Nawaz urges people to join hands against religious hatred

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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday urged the followers of all religions to join hands to thwart the designs of elements who want to spread religious hatred in the country.
Addressing a function in connection with Christmas‚ he said some misled elements exploit religion to achieve their vested interests, “but we collectively have to foil their designs for peace and security”.
He said those attacking churches‚ mosques and temples have nothing to do with any religion. He said all religions preach love‚ affection and brotherhood and there is a need to promote these ideals for love and harmony in the society.
He said it is part of Muslim faith to believe in the prophet-hood of Jesus (PBUH) and all the divine books. He said the character and teachings of Jesus (PBUH) are beacon of light for the whole humanity. The message of Jesus (PBUH) is universally acknowledged and his name would remain alive until the Day of Judgement, Nawaz added.
About the rights of minorities‚ he said the minorities were part and parcel of Pakistani society and they enjoyed equal rights as enshrined in the constitution. It is priority of the government to provide equal opportunities to all the segments of the society regardless of their religion and sect. He said the Punjab government had also allocated Rs 2 billion for minorities. Besides it has also allocated funds to provide scholarships to minority students.
Praising the services of minorities‚ Nawaz said they have remained at the forefront for the defence and development of the country.