Integration of Minorities for a Prosperous Pakistan

National integration aims to bind every segment of society irrespective of language, race, ethnicity, and religion. A diverse society offers growth, wellness and tolerant behaviours and good governance plays a vital role in involving minorities in society along with protecting their basic human rights. The role of these minority groups in our country’s creation and development is hardly talked about.

Christians (1.59 per cent, 1998 Census) a religious minority in Pakistan, played a great role in the freedom movement of Pakistan. Their support to Muslim League and Quaid e Azam at critical time when there was a lot of opposition to a new Muslim state.

The contribution of Christians in the field of health has been immense. Christian nurses helped medical profession stand up in newly formed state and been on the service till today. Dr Ruth Pfau was a German Pakistani catholic nun and set up 150 clinics across the country which treated tens of thousands of leprosy patients. She was given the name of Mother Teresa of Pakistan.

Hindu Community (1.6 per cent) 1998 Census), made great contribution to Judiciary, health and education. Ganga Ram Hospital in Lahore and Chief Justice Rana Bhagwan Das are a few names to their great service.

– Parsi community is a small minority but have left a great legacy in terms of education. Local buildings and schools were named after prominent leaders and businessmen.

– Pakistan’s Nobel prize winner Abdus Salam belonged to Ahmadi minority and credited with laying the foundations of both the country’s space and nuclear programmes.

– Ismaili community and their services are enormous. Few projects undertaken by the Aga Khan Development Network in Pakistan since 1967 include the International Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development, the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi, the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, the Aga Khan Cultural Services Programme, the Northern Areas Community Health Programme and the Flood Relief Programme etc.

– Moreover, Pakistan’s first lawmaker from the Sheedi minority Tanzeela Qambrani, is on a mission to fight centuries-old discrimination against her community of African descent. She lodged a protest resolution in the provincial assembly against a “wave of racism”, condemning last month’s killing of Black American George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

According to all three constitutions of Pakistan, minorities living in state have equal rights and freedom to observe their religion and practice their culture. It is the time that we as a nation put an end to selective bias. Recognize efforts of all minorities and work collectively for a better and prosper Pakistan.

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