Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - The province of Punjab, the most important of Pakistan, the most important center of political, economic and cultural life of the country, belongs to Pakistan thanks to the decisive vote of three Christian leaders, at the time of the partition with India: recalled Fr. Inayat Bernard, director of the minor Seminary in Lahore, in a recent conference that recalled the contribution of religious minorities, and especially Christians, to the nation.
As Fides learns, during the meeting, organized by the Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the body in Lahore founded by the Franciscan Francis Nadeem OFM Cap, Provincial of the Capuchins in Pakistan, Fr. Bernard noted: "The textbooks do not mention the contribution of Christians to the creation of Pakistan: among them Sardar Bahadur S.P. Singha, Judge A. R. Cornelius and teacher Fazal Elahi, were close collaborators of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Father of the Country".
As Fr. Bernard pointed out, Christians at the time said: "We are ready to receive bullets in our chest for Pakistan". "Today, as we recall the Muslim heroes of independence, in the same manner we recall Christian heroes such as General Noel Khokhar, S.P. Singha, F.E. Chaudhry and Fazal Elahi" he said. "True patriots love and give their lives for the nation and for its people. Today we are called to work together for the prosperity of our beloved country", said the rapporteur, recalling that several discriminatory measures were included and incorporated later, in Pakistan's Constitution in 1973.
By sharing his words, Fr. Francis Nadeem said: "We us honor the Muslim and Christian heroes who shared the contribution to create Pakistan. Pakistan is not a country that belongs to followers of a specific religion or just the majority. All those who are born and live in Pakistan are fully citizens. Today several groups generate hatred and discrimination in our society. Let us get rid of this slavery". Among the Islamic leaders present, Mufti Syed Ashiq Hussain said: "I do not want to talk about the country in terms of minority or majority. We are one nation and we are all Pakistanis. Society is like a family". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 13/09/2016)