This he said during the meeting with Procurator General from the Vatican, Father Robert McCulloch, who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Wednesday.
Dr. Paul Bhatti, Minister Incharge for National Harmony, Akram Masih Gill, State Minister for National Harmony, and Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar were also present during the meeting.
The President said that government appreciates the contributions of the Christian community in the socio-economic developmental of the country. He said that the Christians and other non-Muslim minorities have made significant contributions in the education and the health sectors.
He said that for the first time under 18th amendment, the number of seats in Senate, were increased to accommodate minorities. Abolishing the system of separate electorate for minorities, measures to ensure that blasphemy law is not misused and reserving 5% employment quota were among the important steps that the government has taken, the President recounted.
Zardari said that the government was determined to fully harness the potential and contribution of minorities in all walks of life.
While referring to recent incident of desecration of the Holy Quran, the President said that extremism and religious intolerance are not specific to any faith and location and there was a need for promoting cultural harmony.
Father Robert McCulloch, Procurator General from the Vatican, thanked the President for meeting and assured his full cooperation in augmenting the government’s efforts for promoting inter-faith harmony and tolerance.
It may be recalled that Father Robert McCulloch, during his stay in Pakistan, remained involved in education, health and other social services.
The President while welcoming him to Pakistan congratulated him for the award of Sitara-e-Quaid-i-Azam that was conferred in recognition of his multiple services spanning over 30 years for the welfare of the people of Pakistan.