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 long before the partition and the brilliant students graduating from the educational institutions established by Christians and Hindus became the backbone in the struggle for Pakistan.” He said this on Saturday while speaking as a chief guest at the Independence Day celebrations at St Joseph’s College, Saddar.
The chief minister was accompanied by his cabinet member Gianchand Israni and Advisor on law, Murtaza Wahab.
Provincial Minister for Education and Culture Syed Sardar Shah, Minister Labour Saeed Ghani, Waqar Mahdi, Najmi Alam, Senator Laldeen along with members of Catholic Board of Education received the CM on his arrival at the college.
Reading out the quote from the speech of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the CM said, “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 state.”
The CM said that the message of father of the nation for minorities was clear and loud. “We respect minorities, we own you and appreciate your services for the country to which you belong,” he told the minorities.
Shah said that St. Joseph’s, St Patrick’s, 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 the partition.
He added that the Hindus of Sindh also worked hard for the promotion of education. They established leading schools such as NJV (Narayan Jagannath Vaidya).
Shah said, the establishment of Vasant Pathshala School (now called Govt College for women - Burns road) by Hirdaram Mewaram and Jamshed Nusserwanji Metha, is a proof that Hindus, Parsi and Muslim communities contributed generously for the promotion of education.
Shah also gave examples of the NED (Nadirshaw Ediljee Dinshaw), Mama Parsi, Holy Family and Seventh Day hospitals and various other educational and health institutions established by our Parsi brothers.
The CM said, “The students of the educational institutions established by minority members of the present Pakistan continued with their unending services without any discrimination even after the partition.”
Shah said, “Sindh being the land of Sufis has attracted and assimilated people of different faiths and languages together.”
He recalled Hindu scholars 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, he believed in humanity and equality. Therefore, he attracted people of different faiths, sects and schools of thought around him.
The CM extended his best wishes to everyone present on the eve of the Independence Day.
He said that Pakistan is our identity that we achieved through immense sacrifices.
“We have natural resources in abundance and are extremely grateful to Allah for all these precious gifts,” he said.
The CM said that the youth of our country have 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.
The Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah and the Minister for Minorities Gianchand Israni also spoke on the occasion.
Gianchand said that he belongs to the Hindu community and has returned as an MPA on the PPP ticket on a general seat. He added that Muslims voted for him which showed that Sindh was a liberal society.
Education Minister, tracing history, said that the first Catholic educational institution 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 expressed his views on the occasion.
The children displaying national flags presented national songs.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2022.
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