Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today announced a special package of Rs500 million for Hindu community living in Sindh.

“This is just the beginning as more is to come. Together we will decide where the money should be spent,” said the prime minister at a Holi ceremony in Karachi.

Nawaz, while felicitating the Hindu community on Holi, said Pakistan was not created on the basis of religious differences but to address religious persecution.

"No matter which religion or area you belong to. Every Pakistani should have equal opportunity to be a part of this growth," he added.

Holi, he said, is a message of love. “Any religious person without love is like a flower without colour. This Holi gathering has brought a lot of warmth with it.”

“Just like colours of spring, the different colours of religion, cultures and regions are also God's gift to us. We need to make this diversity our strength,” said Nawaz.

The prime minister’s speech quoted Iqbal’s famous Allahabad address and echoed Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s address to the nation on August 11, 1947 in which he stressed religious harmony.

"Some people have been using religion to create divides. For this purpose they use Islam and Pakistan's history.

“This has been a pointless case. Neither does Islam support religious coercion or forcible conversion, not was Pakistan created for one particular religious community to have any authority over others. Pakistan's creation itself was a struggle against religious oppression.”

The Holi ceremony was organised by Sindh's Hindu Panchayat Committee and minority wing of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).