Attacks on minorities must be curbed: UK minister tells Pakistan
London: A Pakistani-origin British minister has asked Pakistan to curb attacks on minorities, saying the country has been let down throughout its history by serious democratic shortcomings.
"I think of those killed at the All Saints Church in Peshawar in September. 2013 was again another year with too many attacks against minorities and innocent civilians," Sayeeda Warsi, senior UK Foreign Office minister, wrote in her Christmas Day message.
"So today is the day to ask whether Pakistan is living up to the vision spoken by Mohammed Ali Jinnah when he 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," the Conservative party leader said.
The release of the message coincided with the observance of Quaid-e-Azam Day in Pakistan to mark the birth anniversary of its founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
"I was born in a small town in the north of the UK, but I was brought up by my parents to know Pakistan, to understand Pakistan and to love Pakistan...You have been let down throughout your history by serious democratic shortcomings, corruption and the scourge of terrorism," the message said.
It highlighted British Prime Minister David Cameron`s visit to the country to mark the "democratic transition of power" as Nawaz Sharif took over as Prime Minister this year.
"You have a dynamic and young population, a growing high- tech sector, and an increasingly vocal and active civil society, epitomised by brave people such as Malala Yousafzai. You have a lot to be proud of. As I`ve said before, a part of my heart will always beat with Pakistan," she said, urging Pakistanis to create a 2014 that the world can be proud of.
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