KARACHI, : Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the minorities, particularly the Christians, Parsis and Hindus have played a remarkable role in the education, health, and economic sectors of the country.
“Their services started much before participation and the brilliant students passed out from the educational institutions established by Christians and Hindus became a backbone in the struggle for Pakistan.”This he said on Saturday while speaking as a chief guest in the Independence of Pakistan celebrations at St Joseph College Saddar.
He was accompanied by his cabinet Member Gianchand Israni and Advisor Law Murtaza Wahab. Provincial Minister for Education & Culture Syed Sardar Shah, Minister Labour Saeed Ghani, Waqar Mahdi, Najmi Alam, Senator Laldean along with members of Catholic Board of Education received the CM on his arrival at the college.
Quoting from Quaid-i- Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s speeches, the CM said “You are free; you are free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the stat.” he read out an other quote from Quaid’s speech “Today it would do us well to remember the
words of the Quaid-E-Azam “Pakistan, which symbolises the aspirations of a nation that found itself in a minority in the Indian sub continent, can not be unmindful of the
minorities within its own borders.”
The CM said that the message of father of nation for minorities was clear and loud. “We respect you [minorities], we own you and appreciate your services for this nation to which you belong,” he told the minorities.
Mr Shah said that St. Joseph, St Patricks, Convent of Jesus and Mary in Karachi and in Hyderabad St. Mary’s, St Bonaventure’s High School and various other educational institutions were established by our Christian brothers much before.
He added that the standard of their education they had set at the early stage has been carried on after partition to this day. Similarly, the Hidus of Sindh also worked hard for the promotion of education. They established leading schools such as NJV (Narayan Jagannath Vaidya). The Vasant Pathshala School (now called Govt College for women- Burns road) established by Hirdaram Mewaram and Jamshed Nusserwanji Metha, Mr Shah said and added in its establishment Hindus, Parsi and Muslim community members donated generously.Murad Shah also gave examples of the NED [Nadirshaw Eduljee Dinshaw], Mama Parsi, Holy Family and Seventh day hospitals and various other educational and health institutions established by our Parsi brothers.
The CM said that these institutions produced such a brilliant generation that took active part in the struggle for Pakistan. “The students of the educational institutions established by the minority members of the present Pakistan continued their uninterrupted services irrespective any discrimination even after partition,” he said.
Mr Shah said: “the minorities are the beauty of this country, particularly of Sindh where people believe in plural society and co-existence,” he said and added Sindh being the land of Sufi has attracted and assimilated people of different faiths and languages together.
He recalled Hindus scholar like Dr Gurbakhshani and Kalyan Advani for compiling Shah Abdul Latif Bhitta’s work (Shah Jo Risalo), though Shah Bhittai was a Muslim poet and scholar yet he believed in humanity and equality, therefore he attracted people of different faiths, sects and school of thought around him. The CM extended his best wishes to everyone present on the eve of the Independence of our Nation. “I also extend my greetings to the members of the Pakistani diaspora, who have represented the motherland well wherever they have made home,” he said and added Pakistan was our identity that we earned through immense sacrifices.
The CM said that countless people sacrificed their blood to kindle the light of freedom. “Our elders sacrificed their present for our future – today we remember our forefathers and pay tribute to them for sacrificing all they had to give us an identity,” he said and added today, we pay homage to Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah for providing us with sincere and honest leadership that we consider as a gift of God.
Quiad-eAzam internationally occupies a highly dignified stature, the CM said and added he proved that with honesty and steadfastness, a nation could surmount all difficulties and that character and determination were the keys to ultimate success.
Murad Ali Shah paid tribute to the Catholic Schools for their great services and contributions to the development of the nation. “Missionary Schools are and have always been the backbone of knowledge and culture in our country and I am a proud product of these institutions,” he said and added Catholic schools have contributed to this nation’s education for more than 160 years, long before the founding of Pakistan and the founders of our country.
We know the challenges that teachers are facing, we recognize your ingenuity, extraordinary efforts and hard work for our students, the CM said and added that Nature has blessed us with all the bounties. “We have an abundance of natural resources and are extremely grateful to God for all these precious gifts – whereas this Day reminds us of the kindness of God, it also invites us to ponder the fate of our children, our most precious resource,” he said.
The CM said that the youth of our country has the power to change the nation. “Someone rightly said that the future hinges on the young generation,” he quoted and said that one of the main motives for celebrating Independence Day was to make the young generation aware of the sacrifices we have made to make this country a better place for them.
On the occasion, Minister Education Syed Sardar Shah and Minister for Minorities, Gianchand Israni also spoke.
Gianchand said that he belong to Hindu community and has returned as MPA on PPP ticket on a general seat. He added that Muslims voted for him which showed that Sindh was a plural society.
Education Minister tracing the history said that first Catholic educational institutions was established in Goa. He added that there were 116 missionary schools in Sindh and all of them were abiding by the government policy in true letter and spirit.
Italian Ambassador also spoke on the occasion.
The children displaying national flags presented national songs.