High Commission organises National Minorities Day Celebration for the Community

Young boy Nadub Gill's entry into Guinness World Records Celebrated

London:  The National Minorities Day Celebration for the Community was held on 11 August 2020 at the Pakistan High Commission London. The event was attended by prominent members of Pakistani community of minorities based in the UK, British Parliamentarians, academicians, doctors, journalists and artists.

High Commissioner Mohammad Nafees Zakaria underlined that the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees fundamental rights for all citizens irrespective of religion, race, caste, colour or creed. It further gives the right to every citizen to profess, practice or propagate religion and perform their religious customs as per their beliefs.

The High Commissioner highlighted that the recognition of the rights of religious minorities is manifested in various legislative and constitutional measures. There are reserved seats for minorities in the National Assembly and in the Senate of Pakistan. Reserved seats in all Provincial Assemblies have also been allocated. There is 5% fixed allocation of job vacancies for minorities in all federal departments. This is in addition to their rights to contest for the open seats.

He further added that the National Commission for Minorities under the Chairmanship of Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony protects and safeguards religious, social and cultural rights of the minorities in Pakistan. It oversees national policy on interfaith harmony. It ensures effective and equal participation of all religious minorities in all aspects of national life

Mr Zakaria underlined that inferior elements with outside support were attempting to sow the seeds of discord within the society and were exploiting the situation with ulterior motives. He advised the community and friends of Pakistan to be aware of such tactics.

The High Commissioner highlighted that the day is meant to pay tribute to the members of minorities for the sacrifices they rendered in the independence movement of Pakistan and contributions to nation building and the country's progress in various fields. He said that all Pakistanis acknowledge with deep appreciation the role of minorities towards the creation and growth of Pakistan which is continuing.

Mr Zakaria praised the achievement of student Mr. Nadub Gill and noted that he was able to constructively utilize time during Coronavirus lockdown to polish his skills and was able to establish a World Record for both Pakistan and Britain. He also felicitated his parents for their role in Nadub's achievement. In recognition of his outstanding achievement and to encourage him for his future endeavours, the High Commissioner presented him with a gift of a laptop and a Certificate.

He apprised the guests that the Kashmiris were living under Indian military siege with no communication with the outside world and completely deprived of their fundamental rights. He said that with the communication blockade and no media access, the reports of extrajudicial and custodial killings, arbitrary detentions, rapes and sexual harassment and destruction of properties have constantly emerged. This has prompted Genocide Watch to issue Genocide Alert for Kashmir, he added. Mr. Zakaria referred to the documented accounts of Indian atrocities and in this regard identified 4 reports of UN Rappoteurs on HR, torture, extrajudicial and custodial killings, etc., Amnesty International's report on Mass Blinding of Young Kashmiris, IPTK and APDP's report on discovery of unnamed and unmarked Mass Graves and several international media reports on killings and sexual harassment.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Peter David, Hon. Senior Lecturer King's College Medical School London praised the efforts of the Government of Pakistan to promote the rights and welfare of the minority communities and underlined that these efforts must continue. He also thanked the High Commissioner for listening and always welcoming the Pakistan's minority communities living in the UK and doing his best to assist them. He also informed about the setting up of Pakistan International Christian Medical Association to help support Christian medical institutions in Pakistan. He expressed gratitude to the High Commissioner for agreeing to become its Patron.

The ceremony ended on a vote of thanks by Mr. Michael Massey, who conveyed the message of goodwill from Cllr. Dr. James Shera, an accomplished, renowned and decorated Pakistani Briton.

August 11, 2020

Last updated: August 12, 2020

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday
1000 to 1730 hrs.