Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday greeted the minority Hindu community of his country on the occasion of Holi festival and promised to safeguard their rights, saying there would be no discrimination on the basis of religion.
In a messgae addressed to Hindus of Pakistan, Sharif said the festival gives a message of hope and better future and reflects changes in societies like changes in the season.
Sharif said Holi announces the advent of the spring season and change in weather conditions.
Sharif quoted Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Constitution to assert that there would be no discrimination in Pakistan on the basis of religion.
"It will be made sure that no discrimination is being done with anyone on the basis of religion and minorities are free to practice their religions," he said, adding that minorities will not have sense of deprivation in jobs and other issues.
Sharif said the government will ensure equal rights of all the citizens on the basis of the teachings of Islam and the provisions of the Constitution.
"The state of Pakistan is bound to fulfil Quaid-e-Azam's (Jinnah) pledges with religious minorities and no negligence will be tolerated in this regard," he said.
The Prime Minister said the entire nation acknowledges and commend the role of the Hindu community playing along with their Muslim countrymen and other people for the welfare and development of Pakistan.
Sharif acknowledged that people of Pakistan, including minorities, have suffered a lot at the hands of militants.
He said Islam is a religion of peace and killing of one innocent person as the murder of entire humanity.
Sharif said Pakistan's environment is also witnessing change as days of happiness are returning to it for which foundations of peaceful co-existence among various religions had been laid down.
He said Pakistan had come into being not only for Muslims, but to bring peace for every individual, irrespective of religion or faith he practices or caste and creed he belongs to, in this region.
Sharif said that it is imperative to move forward with a unified voice for the development and progress of Pakistan.
(With PTI inputs)