ISLAMABAD:“The strong bonds of humanity bind us all together. While we maintain our religious beliefs and identities, we have to work collectively, as one community, for the larger national interests and projecting true image of Pakistan,” said Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan.
“The state of Pakistan is committed to protecting rights of minorities and provide them with an enabling environment to contribute towards socio-economic development and nation-building process,” he continued.
Ambassador Masood Khan made these remarks while addressing faith and community leaders at Pakistan House, the official residence of the Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, according to a statement issued on Sunday. The faith leaders comprised Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs. Masood Khan called for the need to build on commonalities among faiths and to work together to promote inter-faith harmony. Terming visits of American faith leaders to Pakistan as an effective tool of promoting people-centric diplomacy, Masood Khan invited leaders of all faiths to explore the beauty of the country and its people in order to have their personal experiences and to build bridges among communities.
Many of the faith leaders who were at Ambassador’s reception had visited Pakistan and shared their pleasant experiences. On this occasion, the Ambassador appreciated the services of faith and community leaders including Ilyas Masih, Raj Rathore and others who have been making efforts not only to unite communities but also towards bringing US and Pakistan together through people to people contacts and exchanges. Mr. Ilyas Masih, President All Neighbors International, thanked the Ambassador and the Embassy of Pakistan for providing a platform to all faiths and communities and also facilitating people-to-people exchanges.
Other participants also spoke on the occasion and shared their thoughts about Pakistan and its people along with their experiences of visiting the country. Sardar Ramesh Singh Khalsa, Patron in Chief Pakistan Sikh Council who is currently visiting the United States, speaking on the occasion said that the commitment of the Government of Pakistan towards protection of rights of minorities and their religious places has not only enabled minorities to lead their lives according to the vision of the Founder of the nation but has also helped them in making their valuable contributions towards socio-economic development of the country.
“The opening of Kartarpur Corridor, issuance of commemorative coin on 550th anniversary of the birth of Baba Guru Nanak, renovation and restoration of Gurdwaras and Hindu temples across the country, celebration of religious occasions, allocation of job quota in the government services as well as in top legislative bodies may not have attracted adequate attention and glare of media but these practical measures bear testimony of the commitment and ethos of Pakistani state and society,” he continued. “The Embassy of Pakistan is presenting a practical manifestation of vision of the Quaid for Pakistan,” said faith leaders.
Ambassador Masood Khan, on the occasion, also thanked the government and the people of United States for providing an enabling environment to Pakistani diaspora for their growth and assimilation in the US social and political fabric. He also thanked all philanthropic organizations, US civil society and relief and rescue bodies including All Neighbors, Chazak Relief and others who contributed and helped victims during the catastrophic floods in Pakistan last year.