LAHORE   -   Spokesperson to Punjab Chief Minister Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan has said that minorities enjoy equal rights in Pakistan but they face severe discrimination in India.

He was speaking at a function organised by the Unique Group of Institutions and the Department of Human Rights and Minorities Affairs here on Thursday, in connection with the National Day of Minorities in the country.

He said all Pakistanis should perform their duties for development and prosperity of the country without getting indulged in any prejudice of religion, race, and sects and keeping themselves above extremism.

The chief minister’s spokesperson said: “All Pakistanis have equal rights and they should pay respect to each other to form a welfare and peaceful society. Chairman, Unique Group of Institutions, Prof Abdul Mannan Khurram said that minorities had never felt that they had been discriminated against and left alone in all sectors and all spheres of life. He said that people from different religions live here and they all were equal Pakistanis. He said that the minorities were given representation even in the national flag.

Punjab Assembly Member Mahindar Pall Singh said that Quaid-e-Azam, in his address to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947, had made it clear in absolute terms that all Pakistanis would be equal citizens and they would be free to spend their lives according to their religious beliefs. The state would never exploit them and discriminate against them on the basis of their religions, cast and creed, he added. Convener for Human Rights Jacqueline T said they were thankful to God that they were the citizens of Pakistan. She said all minorities enjoy complete freedom in the country.

Amarnath Randhawa, member Pakistan Hindu Mandar Management Committee, said that the role of minorities was important in creation of Pakistan. He said his forefathers openly supported Quaid-e-Azam in securing a separate country.

Chairman Union Council-246, Asif Khokhar and Vice Chairman Unique Group Afeef Ashraf Siddiqui also addressed the participants. Rector Unique Group Prof Amjad Ali Khan, Director Unique Group Prof Waseem Anwar Chaudhry, and Manager Promotions, Sports and Admin Prof Riaz-ul-Haq, teachers and a large number of students also attended the function.