The National Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism, NCIDE
and All Pakistan Ullema & Mushaikh Council organized an interfaith
memorial service on March 7, 2011 at St. Mary’s School for Mr. Shahbaz
Bhatti Former Federal Ministry for Minority Affair. Representatives from
Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Baha’i and Sikh communities were invited to
recite prayers for Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti and his mission to promote
interfaith peace and coexistence.
His Lordship Bishop Dr. Andrew Francis Chairman NCIDE began the memorial
service with an inspriring keynote address expressing that ‘We all must
salute the late Honorable Shahbaz Clement Bhatti whose commitment and
dedication towards Pakistan was highly remarkable. He has given his life
for the people of Pakistan and as a true peace ambassador aspired for
three things: freedom of religion, conscious freedom and freedom of speech
for all religion.
Pandit Haroon Sarab Dayal also added to the memorial that Shahbaz Bhatti
was a true proponent of minority rights and strived to provide them equal
opportunity for all citizens of Pakistan.
Representatives from the Sikh community Sardar Tranageet Singh and Ghani
Ranjeet Singh from Gurudwar Dara Sahib said that Shahbaz Bhatti desired to
build a Pakistan as envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
Representatives from the Baha’i community also joined in reciting
prayers in honor of the late Shahbaz Clement Bhatti.
Chairman All Pakistan Ullema & Mushaikh Council, Maulana Zabir Abid said
that ‘We have gathered today to pay tribute to and salute Shahbaz Bhatti
who was not only a Christian but a true Pakistani, an honest peace
ambassador and represented Pakistan at an international level. I pray that
the situation in Pakistan improves and moves towardsharmony otherwise this
bloodshed will continue..,’ He requested the entire congregation to
stand and pay homage to Shahbaz Bhatti.
Rev. Dr. Majid Able brought to notice that according to the historical
facts, the sub-continent was divided due to inequality and discrimination
towards minorities. Therefore we must not let the history repeat
itself. Rev. Fr. Morris Jalal said that it is written in the Holy Bible,
‘Be loyal till death and you will be given the crown of life.’ Today
we have all gathered in sorrow but we must not forget that our young
Christian brother gave up his life for truth. He was a pious Christian and
I am extremely proud of him.
MNA Akram Gill said that ‘I strictly condemn the assassination of
Shahbaz Bhatti. It was the murder of the dream of Quaid E Azam and is
against the Islamic teachings. I feel sad that minorities in Pakistan feel
insecure today due to the events happening around'
The commission expressed it opinion that if such acts of brutality and
violence did not stop, such devastating incidents will never seize thus
reflecting a negative image of Pakistan worldwide. We as Pakistanis have a
shared responsibility for the development and promotion of peace and
social harmony at every level of the society so that the penetration of
extremism could be restricted and all communities get equal rights.
We take great courage and hope from the martyrdom of Honorable Shahbaz
Bhatti and the cause promoted by him will not die. The members believed
that peace among religions is a precondition for world peace