Monday, January 24, 2011

Pakistani government to ‘protect minorities at all costs’ says the country’s president

ASSIST News reported yesterday that the Pakistani government will protect the country’s minorities at all costs in accordance with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah—the founder of Pakistan—and the constitution of Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari has said.

According to Asian News International (ANI), Zardari made these comments while talking to the Federal Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, who called on him at the presidential palace on January 20.

“No one will be allowed to take the law into their own hands nor will anyone be allowed to misuse the country's laws,” the president was quoted as saying.

The president also asked Bhatti to continue the consultations with scholars and ulema (legal scholars) of different faiths and denominations with a view to building consensus against the misuse of Pakistani laws against the minorities and vulnerable groups in the country.

“The case of Pakistani-Christian woman Asia Bibi, who has been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges, has drawn huge attention in the media, and there is deep sympathy for her,” said the news story. “Several NGOs have called for repealing Pakistan’s blasphemy law because it was ‘being used by illiterate masses in rural areas to hoodwink the minorities.’”

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