For the first time in history of Pakistan, the country will observe public holidays on Holi, Diwali and Easter.
On March 15, the national assembly passed a resolution to this effect. It was moved by lawmaker Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwami.
The resolution said:
“This house is of the opinion that the government should take steps to declare Holi, Diwali and Easter as closed holidays for minorities.”
Vankwani, who is also patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, was of the view that Pakistan can’t object to the resolution as such holidays were also being observed in the United States on Eid, and in India on Muharram.
As reported, no one really objected to the resolution.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Aminul Hasnat Shah said:
“The Interior Ministry has already given permission to heads of federal organisations, departments, and institutions to grant leave to minorities on their religious festivals.”
Though Federal Minister for Laws and Justice Pervaiz Rashid said that the number of holidays in Pakistan are more than any other country, he did not object to it either. However, he asked to reconsider it.
He added that there was no discrimination on the basis of religion and every citizen enjoys religious freedom.
In the Pakistan’s Sindh province, which is home to most of Hindus, festivals like Holi and Diwali are celebrated on large scale.