The prime minister’s gesture of attending the celebration of Holi in Karachi should be applauded. This must have strengthened the confidence of the Hindu minority in being equal citizens of Pakistan. The event and the PM’s presence was also in keeping with Jinnah’s August 11, 1947 address, “You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in the state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed and that has nothing to do with the business of the state”.
The ceremony, however, started with the recitation of the Holy Quran. Given that Holi is a purely Hindu religious festival, in the spirit of equality for all, it should have been preceded by a section from the Bhagwat Geeta or a Vedic chant.
Col (r) Riaz Jafri