Minorities enjoying religious freedom, says bishop

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Sept 9: The Bishop of Peshawar, Church of Pakistan, Cecil William, has said minorities are enjoying religious freedom in the country.

Talking to Dawn at Mission Bungalow here on Saturday, he said the joint electorate system should be reintroduced to save the country from fragmentation. He said division of society on religious and sectarian grounds had led toward hatred among the masses. Christians had always been loyal towards the country, he added.

He said the separate electorate system had created a bad image of the country in the outside world. He demanded of the government to repeal the system.

About the services rendered by the Church of Pakistan for the common people, Bishop Cecil said a chain of educational institutions and mission hospitals were functioning and providing best available services to the masses.

Responding to a question, he said Christians had never objected to the blasphemy law and regarded it the best way to safeguard the respect for Muslims and the Holy Prophet.

He said if it would have been implemented in a just and fair manner, it would have been acceptable to Christians, but, unfortunately, it was used as a tool to punish them. He said the minorities were not secure in India, which was supposed to be a secular state, and it was a matter of shame for the Indian rulers.