Punjab likely to declare public holidays on religious festivals

  • Sandhu says all religions share message of peace, harmony and tranquility


LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Khalil Tahir Sandhu on Sunday announced that the provincial government will announce soon public holiday on the occasion of Easter, Holi, Diwali and other festival days of different religion and faiths.

“Our government of the Pakistan Muslim League-N is interested to announce holidays on the occasion of the religious festivals of different religious communities living here in this province,” he said while addressing a special ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal regarding the celebration of the Holi festival.

Besides a large number of Hindu community members from different parts of the Punjab province, MPA Kanji Ram, MPA Shakeel Awen, MPA Fowzia Ayub Qureshi, Dr Majeed Abel, Hindu Sudhar Sabha President Amarnath Randhawa, senior government officials and students from Nepal also joined the event, organised by the Human Rights Department.

Addressing the audience, Khalil Sandhu said that the government always tried its level best to take every possible step to ensure protection and safety of the minorities. “Pakistan has become the first country in the world to introduce legislation for the registration of the Sikh marriages,” he told the audience.

“We have to realise that all religions bring the message of peace, harmony and tranquility,” he said, adding that people of different faiths were an equal citizen of Pakistan and the Holy festival gives the society the message of spreading peace and unity among all. “Holi is a festival of harmony and togetherness,” he said.

On the occasion, MPA Kanji Ram said that the Holi was a day to set ablaze all evils, as this was a festival of harmony and togetherness, to enjoy together and ignoring all differences. “Our every citizen is free to celebrate and perform his or her religious ceremonies and festivals in a secure environment,” he said. He extended heartiest greetings to Hindu community on the eve of the Holi festival.

Talking to the journalists, the ruling party lawmaker said that the Hindu Marriage Act would also be passed by the National Assembly before the general elections. He pointed out that the Hindu Marriage Act was the first legislation which was passed by the majority. As per its traditions, the PML-N would continue best services to all citizens without any discrimination, he said.

Sharing the message of the Holi, Amarnath Randhawa said that the festival of colours creates the passions of brotherhood and goodwill among the people and this festival was also a symbol of happiness and passions. On the occasion, some Hindu representatives had some complaints to the organisers as there was only one Hindu leader was on stage. At least, they (Hindus) should not be ignored at least in their religious or cultural events, they said.



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