ISLAMABAD: Former interior minister and Chairman Institute of Research and Reforms (IRR) Abdul Rehman Malik has countered the statement of US Department of Defense spokesperson John Kirby of ‘Do More Pakistan’ and said that Pakistan has sacrificed in the war on terror more than any country of the world and yet it is being asked to ‘Do More’.
“I hope that the UN will ask following nine questions from the US before US demands Pakistan to “Do More,” he said while talking to The News on Wednesday. He posed the question that who attacked Afghanistan for the first time and subsequently created Jihadis?
2) Who and how the Jihadis were recruited, trained, and launched in the Afghan-USSR war?
3) Who sponsored and financed Osama Bin Laden (OBL) and his associates?
4) Who created ISIS/Daesh and what were the means of financing and strengthening a lethal terrorist organisation?
5) Who created the concept of the Arab Spring to destabilise the Middle East?
6) Who organised the coup in Turkey to overthrow an elected democratic government?
7) How and who planted terrorism in Nigeria?
8) Who is supporting Boko Haram in Niger?
9) Who created unrest/terrorism in Niger, a poverty-ridden country?
Rehman Malik yesterday said that India was trying to eliminate Muslims and other minorities in India.
Speaking at an event organised here at his residence on ‘Minorities Day,’ he said Pakistan provides equal status to minorities as citizens. “I will call it ‘Inter-Faith Harmony Day’ rather than ‘Minority Day’ as I don’t like the word minority to be used for the people of my own country. Attack on Hindu temple in Rahim Yar Khan is strongly condemned and strict actions against those who were involved is demanded,” he said.
The Pakistan People’s Party leader urged the nation to live with unity for a happy, peaceful, and progressive Pakistan above all differences. A number of religious scholars and representatives of Christian minorities from across the country attended the ceremony. Among participants, Basharat Khokhar, sisters Parveen Lal, Catherine Maria, Katherine Mehnga and Pastors Waheed Javed, Patras Salamat, Fr. Sylvester Joseph, Fr. Asif Joya, and Archibishop Sebastian Francis were prominent. Rehman Malik said, “August 11 is observed as National Minority Day to recall the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.”
and to reaffirm commitment that we all citizens of various faiths are one nation under the flag of Pakistan.”
He said August 11 reflects vision of Father of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who on this day in 1947 laid down the foundations of a modern and progressive Pakistan. Quaid had a dream of Pakistan where everyone would have equal rights regardless of creed, caste, and gender.
He said that PPP had been the real representative of minority and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto rendered great services to protect the rights of minorities and the legacy is being carried forward by Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. He said that having different religions and cultures in the same country is not less than a blessing.
Rehman Malik said that followers of all religions in Pakistan were free to exercise, profess and practice their religion and culture. He said that all political parties of the country should encourage the active participation of minorities and provide them with full opportunities to serve the country. He also demanded the construction of Churches and temples in new Housing Societies both public and private and appealed to CDA to renovate Churches in Kachi Abadis (slums) of Islamabad. He demanded the government to direct Higher Education Commission (HEC) to allocate quota for minorities in every university on scholarships.
“Let us all as a nation reaffirm our commitment to build Pakistan where we all can live with love, peace, and tranquillity. They also prayed for the departed souls of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, and Shehbaz Bhatti. They prayed for a peaceful, progressive, and prosperous Pakistan,” he added.
The minority leaders and representatives thanked Senator Rehman Malik for organizing the ceremony. Senator Rehman Malik announced that soon under the banner of the Institute of Research and Reforms (IRR) he will be organizing an ‘Interfaith Harmony Conference wherein religious scholars from all faiths shall be invited.