Mubashar Naqvi

MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan has said that religious intolerance in India is rapidly growing under Narendra Modi’s BJP government. Muslims as well as the Christians have become the soft targets of Hindus extremist forces in India.
The Prime Minister stated this during a function held in connection with Christmas at Prime Minister Secretariat here on Monday.
“Christians are also facing the worst atrocities in India along with their Muslims brethren. Enemy has a wicked plan to create a rift between Muslims and Christians in India and it want to see them fighting each-others”, Premier added.
Raja Farooq Haider said that love and peace is the central message of Islam and Christianity as the Quran and Bible in their basic teachings advocated for the humanity. “Minorities enjoy equal rights in Azad Kashmir”, Haider stated.
He announced building churches for the Christian community in Muzaffarabad and Mirpur besides allocating the land for the construction of their houses.
The Prime Minister said that protecting the rights of the minorities is the responsibility of the government and assured the Christian community that their all genuine problems would be addressed on priority.
Information Minister Mushtaq Minhas, Chairman Prime Minister’s Inspection and Implementation Commission Zahid Ameen Kashif, Chairman Christian community elder Riayasat Masih, Sonnia Riasat, Jameel Maseeh and other also addressed the function.
At the end of the function, Prime Minister along with the Christian community members cut the Christmas cake.
A large number of Christian community members, Minister Auqaf Raja Abdul Qayyume Khan, Direction General Information Raja Azhar Iqbal and other attended the function.
Meanwhile, addressing another function of Population Welfare Department in connection with proposed legislation on child marriages, Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan said that increasing population is the biggest reason of the poverty in the country.
He said that legislation is in process to stop early marriages in the state.
Raja Farooq Haider said that after thorough consultation with the Ulema and religious scholars, draft bill would be sent to Islamic Ideology Council.
He underlined the need to train the ladies health workers for the public awareness through door to door awareness sessions.
AJK Population Welfare Minister Dr. Mustafa Bashir, Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Nosheena Shabirm Consultant Gynecologist CMH Muzaffarabad, Irshad Ahmed Qureshi, Secretary Law, Justice, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights, Dr. Muhammad Idrees Abbasi, Secretary of the President of AJK State also spoke on their respective topics including medical problems caused by early marriages, proposed legislation of ‘Early-age Marriages Restraint Act in AJK’, ‘Family Planning in the Perspective of International Law’ and the identical issues.
Minister for Industries and Women Development Noreen Arif, Member Legislative Assembly Faiza Imtiaz, Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Asif Hussain Shah, Secretary Population Welfare Raja Muhammad Razzaque Khan, Secretary Higher Education Zahid Abbasi, Direction General Information Raja Azhar Iqbal and others were also present on the occasion.