Sir: Unfortunately the hatred towards the minorities has penetrated to the very core of Pakistani society. The last few years have been particularly deadly for Shia Muslims, along with the country’s small Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Ahmedi minorities. They all suffer discrimination and occasional outbursts of violence from the state-sponsored religious sects. Recently Mehdi Ali Qamar, a 50-year-old US based cardiologist from the Ahmedi community had come to Pakistan to train doctors at a local hospital. He was gunned down in front of his wife and child by religious fanatics. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had assured the minorities about their protection on the eve of the creation of Pakistan. He had told them that irrespective of their beliefs they would be respected for being Pakistanis first. The government of Pakistan must take the necessary steps to protect its religious minorities from persecution by the extremist elements.