Lord Michael Nazir Ali calls on prime minister: There is religious harmony in Pakistan: Shaukat Aziz
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Wednesday there was religious harmony in Pakistan and minorities enjoyed equal rights.
The prime minister made the comments while talking to Lord Michael Nazir Ali, Lord Bishop of Rochester, at the prime minister’s house. Aziz said Islam was a religion of peace, adding there was no room for discrimination based on religion, race or creed. He said the government was following Islamic principles and was catering for basic needs of all minorities.
The prime minister said the government had ensured that minorities participated in democratic institutions by allocating them seats in local government institutions, provincial and national assemblies and the senate.
He said the joint electorate also provided opportunities for minorities to participate in areas of national importance so they could play an effective role in the country’s development.
Prime Minister Aziz briefed Lord Bishop Ali on the economic reforms and the government’s deregulation policies.
He said the government was focused on programmes aimed at reducing poverty and improving people’s income levels.
Aziz said efforts were underway to promote agriculture and increase crop production to reduce poverty in rural areas. He said attention had also been focused on promoting education as it was fundamental for the country’s development. The prime minister said overseas Pakistanis should play a role in projecting Pakistan as a moderate and enlightened Islamic state.
Lord Bishop Ali said Pakistanis living in Britain were encouraged by President General Pervez Musharraf’s vision of enlightened moderation. He acknowledged the country’s economic progress, adding that Pakistanis in the UK were proud of this development. app