Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minorities’ Affairs Khalil Tahir Sandhu has endorsed mutual cooperation between the Church in Pakistan and Norway. He said that the joint venture between churches in both the countries can help propagate peace in the region. At the same time, he upheld the pleasant relations between both countries.
Khalil Tahir Sandhu further said that churches in both the countries can help nurture interfaith harmony, tolerance, patience and peace in the region. He said that Norwegian and Pakistani Churches can play a pivotal role in spreading peace. He pointed to the fact that Norwegian government has always supported Pakistan whenever a natural calamity had struck Pakistan.
He detailed that Norway had provided aid by helping in the sector of communication, education, health and supplying clean drinking water in far-fetched areas of Pakistan. He said that Norway had always been instrumental in carrying out several charity projects in Pakistan.
He was addressing a delegation from the Church of Norway. The Norwegian delegation was led by Archbishop of Norway, while many other Pakistani Christian leaders were also present at this occasion. Those present included MPA Tariq Masih Gill, MPA Shehzad Munshi, Sardar Romesh Singg Arora, Kanji Ram, Islamic clerics Allama Tahir Ashrafi, Allama Mushtaq Hussain Jaffari, Maulana Zubair Abid, Allama Shakil al Rehman and others.
Provincial Minister further said that the joint efforts put in by Norway and Church is being highly valued all over the world. He said that in our country valuable contribution of Church of Norway is also held in high esteem. At this occasion, Archbishop of Norway Helga Haugland that due to extremism at local level; Christian and Muslim clerics must join forces.
Archbishop of Norway stated that Norway is a predominantly Christian country, yet the minorities are playing vital roles in all walks of life. She said that collaboration between both the countries will continue in order to promote peace and harmony.
Khalial Tahir told the attendees that the government of Punjab has dispensed constitutional rights to the religious minorities living in the province. He said that the religious minorities are enjoying rights on the basis of equality. He said that minorities are enjoying a five percent quota in government jobs sector, scholarships for minorities’ students, legislation for minorities, formation of provincial task force and formation of human rights directorates at district levels manifest provincial government’s efforts to succor the minorities.