Islamabad: The Christians of Pakistan are an
"essential component" of society and the government is
committed to protect the rights of minority communities, Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Tuesday.
"The Christian community is an essential component of
Pakistani society...The idea of Pakistani society is
incomplete without the Christian community," Gilani said while
participating in an official function marking the beginning of
The premier contended that "misguided elements" had hurt
the "harmonious relationship and bonds of love" among
different sections of Pakistan.
"There is a dire need to remain wary of these people and
exhibit unity in our ranks for preservation of way of life
which propounds human values," he warned.
He underlined that Pakistanis have common stakes in the
future and "it is our collective responsibility to rise up as
followers of our two great religions".
Calling for greater unity between the majority Muslim
population and Christians, the prime minister stressed the
need to build bridges and discard the pursuit of fissure.
Paying tribute to Pakistani Christians for "their
valuable contributions and services towards national
development", he made it clear that the government regards the
"protection of rights of the minorities as its constitutional
duty and is committed to their welfare".
He pointed out that his government had implemented a five
per cent job quota in all federal government jobs for
minorities and declared August 11 as the National Day of the