The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) will jointly celebrate the Independence Day with the minorities of Pakistan. ETPB has sent the invitation to the Muslims, local Sikhs, Hindus and Christian communities to participate in the flag rising and cake cutting ceremony. A local Hindu community leader Munawar Chand, while talking exclusively to Daily Times said, “We will definitely participate in the ceremony of Independence Day as we are invited by ETPB. Our community is safe here and we are getting equal opportunities. Pakistan is our homeland and we are committed with our motherland. Our land gave us the identity in the world as Pakistani. The Hindu community of Pakistan is patriotic and will never abandon Pakistan whatever the circumstances may be.” Ramesh Singh Arora, a member of Sikh Gurdwara Pabandak Committee, also while talking exclusively to Daily Times said, “We will show our commitment with Pakistan by our participation in the ceremonies of Independence Day. The invitation by ETPB is a great honour for us and we want to give a clear message to the world that the Pakistani society is based on religious harmony, social justice and human equality. We are enjoying the equal status and opportunities here, the Independence Day would be celebrated with the traditional zeal and zest in the whole country by Sikh community, extremism is vanishing and we are feeling safe here.” “The minorities of Pakistan are free to go their temples, shrines and other places of worship. ETPB is looking after the worship places of minorities and we are trying to facilitate them at our best. There is a need to make sure the participation of the minorities in our ceremonies to promote the interfaith harmony, peace and brotherhood in the country. The history of Islam is full of examples in which the minorities enjoyed peace, protection and equal social status,” ETPB Shrines Deputy Secretary Imran Gondal told Daily Times. ETPB Secretary Tariq Wazir Khan informed Daily Times, “The minorities are our part and we want to involve them in the celebrations of Pakistan’s Independence Day to convey a message of peace, tolerance and inter-faith harmony. Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims are invited in the Independence Day ceremony. These activities can create a sense of security among minorities as we are trying our best to enhance the level of mutual confidence among the minorities living in Pakistan. The participation of minorities in the celebrations of Independence Day will convey the message of tolerance and interfaith acceptance.” Published in Daily Times, August 10th 2018.