Christian community a necessary part of our social fabric: AJK president

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MUZAFFARABAD: President Sardar Masood Khan — Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK)  has said that Pakistan and Azad Kashmir are a haven of peace and brotherhood for religious minorities unlike India where efforts are being made to eliminate all minorities including Muslims to turn the country into a Hindu fanatic state.

On 6th Jan — 2020 although speaking at a tea party hosted in honor of the Christian community at Aiwan-e-Sadr in Muzaffarabad, he said that today religious harmony, brotherhood and restraint are more desired than ever in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.

“The Christian community side-by-side with the majority has always played a positive role in promoting interfaith harmony in the liberated territory,” President Masood said, adding that while Christians are less in number in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, “Muslims hold them in high esteem”.

Stressing on Islamic teachings and their implementations by the Muslim segment of the society, he maintained that non-Muslims do not only enjoy socio-economic rights in Muslim countries but every single holds the freedom to practice their religion in their own ways.

“When Great Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had established the state of Medina, he had acknowledged respect for all religions mandatory.”

He said, adding, “We fully believe in promoting interfaith harmony and restraint in the light of Holy Quran and Sunnah.”

The AJK (Azad Jammu & Kashmir) president went on to say that demands regarding worship places, education and jobs for the Christian community in the liberated territory are valid and the government will gradually address all their issues on priority basis.

He also guaranteed the Christian community that all obstacles in the way of gaining state subject certificate for them would be removed.

Whereas extending Christmas — and New Year greetings — to the Christian community — he said that the doors of Aiwan-e-Sadr are open to all minorities including Christians.

President Masood said touching upon the latest situation of Occupied Kashmir — that Muslims of the held territory are being subjected — to repression because of their Muslim identity — and their lives have been made miserable in their own homeland.

On August 5 2019, India had stripped Occupied Kashmir — of the special autonomy it had for seven decades through a rushed presidential order.

Pakistan had strongly condemned the move — and swore to “exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps” taken by — New Delhi.

“The Indian Prime Minister — Narendra Modi’s extreme government is toeing the philosophy of Hindu supremacy — and committing the worst cruelties against non-Hindu minorities,” he said, adding that a new citizenship law has been introduced to usurp the civic rights of Muslims and other minorities so as to turn India into a purely Hindu state free of followers of other religions.

The function was honored by attendance of the leaders of the Christian community Dr. Pervaiz Shan, Pastor Faizan, Sonia Bhatti and a large number of other leaders and community members.