On Diwali, Zardari vows to protect minorities (Lead)

October 27th, 2011 - 2:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Oct 27 (IANS) President Asif Ali Zardari used the festival of Diwali Wednesday to promise protection to minorities in overwhelmingly Muslim Pakistan.

“Let it be made clear yet again today that no one will be allowed to victimize and hound members of minority communities in the name of religion and faith,” the president said in a message.

Zardari added: “We partake in Diwali celebrations also for promoting interfaith harmony as a means to fight religious apartheid and those who seek to impose their ideological agenda on the people.

“I also wish to reiterate our commitment to respect and uphold the UN resolution calling for interfaith harmony and the pledges made by the government and the party to safeguard the rights of all minorities.”

Greeting Hindus and Dalits on Diwali, the president said the festival was “a time for celebration (and) also a time for reflection.

“Let us rededicate ourselves to continually striving in the path of good and noble,” the official APP news agency quoted him as saying.

Referring to the devastating floods in Sindh, which is home most of Pakistan’s Hindus, Zardari said: “The Diwali celebrations should serve to remind that we need to help those in need of help.”

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