Hindu and Christian religious leaders today welcomed the decision of the National Assembly of Pakistan for adopting a resolution, declaring holidays on festivals celebrated by minorities–Holi, Diwali and Easter.
Elated over declaration of holidays, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an offshoot of RSS, welcomed the decision and dubbed it as one positive step towards ‘recognition of world’s oldest religion.”’ Holi, a festival of colors, has given a befitting opportunity to rise above prejudices and we welcome the announcement in the same spirit. It’s good that they (Pakistanis) are returning to their roots,” said Surendra Jain, VHP General Secretary.
Earlier, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, US Rajan Zed had hailed the decision of the National Assembly of Pakistan and thanked legislators for adopting the resolution.
”For the first time, the Sindh Government has declared a public holiday for Holi throughout the Sindh Province for all offices, autonomous, semi-autonomous bodies, corporations and local councils under the administrative control of Sindh Government except essential services, which is a commendable move, ‘said Mr Zed, in a statement.
”Despite theological differences, religions teach us qualities including love, sharing, respect, fairness, morality, ethics, and forgiveness, among others and dialogue helps us overcome prejudices, brings us closer and results in mutual enrichment, ‘he added.
Father John Dayal, spokesperson, United Christian Forum, too welcomed the decision. However, he said the substantive issue was to restore confidence of minorities especially Christians, Hindus by abolishing ‘world’s infamous blasphemy laws.”’ You see the bigger issue is that minorities are being victimized in many ways in Pakistan. So many people, particularly, Christians are on death row for allegedly violating blasphemy issues. Their government should also address bigger issues,” he said.
This article was first published at news.webindia123.com