Islamabad: Pakistan will soon be recognised as a "minorities-friendly country", Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday as he ordered renovation of Katas Raj Complex, one the most sacred places of Hindus in the country.
Pakistan is pursuing policies to establish the country's identity as a minority-friendly country and followers of all religions have equal rights in the country, Sharif said speaking at the Katas Raj Temples Complex in Chakwal.
"The day is not far when Pakistan will be recognised as a minorities-friendly country due to steps being undertaken to better the lives of minority groups," he was quoted as saying by the state-run APP news agency.
The prime minister said he has advised government officials to spare no efforts in hosting pilgrims and the protection and expansion of minorities' places of worship. He said that he is the prime minister of everyone and "not just Muslims" and instructed Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq to restore the holy sites in the area to their original state by renovating them.
He said he would ensure his full support for the construction of Baba Guru Nanak and Gandhara universities. Sharif referred to historic examples to elaborate that it was a part of the Islamic faith to treat the majority and minorities equally. He said that Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and Baha'is are working hand-in-hand to defend the country and contribute their share to its peace and prosperity. Sharif visited the Katas Raj in Chakwal district near Islamabad to inaugurate water filtration plant of Amrat Jal.
The filtration plant set up at the temple's holy Amrat Jal pond will provide clean drinking water to the Hindu pilgrims visiting the place.
"The renovation should be done to restore the building to its original shape. It should be done within the one and half year of remaining tenure of my government," he said. He also planted a sapling on the occasion.