Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has greeted Hindus on the occasion of Diwali with a call to strengthen interfaith harmony and a pledge to protect the rights of minorities.
"I wish to extend on my behalf and on behalf of the people of Pakistan heartiest greetings to members of the Hindu community on the occasion of Diwali," the president said in his message.
The Associated Press of Pakistan quoted him as saying that the festival of lights marks the triumph of good over evil.
"We partake in Diwali celebrations also for promoting interfaith harmony as a means to fight religious apartheid and those who seek to impose their ideological agenda on the people," the president said.
Zardari reiterated that Hindus, indeed all minorities, of Pakistan were equal citizens of the state and entitled to equal rights.
In Karachi, Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Monday extended greetings to the Hindu community on the occasion of Diwali.
In a statement, he assured them that his party stood for their equal rights.
He said all the minorities, including the Hindus, were equal citizens of Pakistan and were free to celebrate their religious and cultural festivals without any fear.