Pakistan not to be theocratic state: Zardari

Islamabad: Former President Asif Ali Zardari Monday said that Pakistan cannot to be theocratic state  “A central thought of the Father of the Nation Mohammed Ali Jinnah in creating Pakistan was that it will be a democratic and progressive state and not a theocratic or autocratic one in which thoughts and actions of individuals are controlled by a few in the name of ideology,” he said in a message on the eve of the 142nd birth anniversary of father of nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah on Tuesday December 25. Constitutionalism, rule of law and equality of all citizens and equal opportunities to all citizens without any prejudice of religion, cast and creed are the guiding principles behind the creation of Pakistan, he said. There is a need for introspection in the direction the state has taken; whether ideology and religion are being misused to negate the pristine principles of the state and to stifle dissent and free expression. The nation will slip into the quagmire of instability and if the founding principles were disregarded, he warned. On this occasion we also reiterate our resolve to fight the enemies within who seek to destroy the state in the name of ideology or religion. The Pakistan People’s Party reiterates its resolve to defend the founding principles of Pakistan and to fight despotism, extremism and militancy to the finish. “On this occasion we also pay homage to all those in the armed forces, the police, the civilian law enforcing agencies and the people who have made huge sacrifices in the fight against extremists and militants,” Asif Zardari said Meanwhile, Asif Ali Zardari also greeted Christian Community on the eve of Christmas falling on Tuesday December 25. “I wish to felicitate Christians all over the world particularly our Christian brothers and sisters in Pakistan on the auspicious occasion of Christmas”. Jesus Christ (May Allah be pleased with him) is the fountainhead of the message of love, forgiveness and brotherhood. We need to imbibe his teachings to make our tomorrow better than our today, he said in a message on the occasion. The need for inculcating the values of love, forgiveness and reconciliation has never been as great as it is today, the former President said in the message. The PPP reiterates its pledge that it will protect the Non-Muslims from the misuse of religion based laws against them. I wish to acknowledge with deep appreciation the great contributions of the Christian community towards the development and well being of Pakistan. As a deeply law-abiding and loyal community they have earned the admiration of the nation. I am confident they will continue to play their positive and constructive role in the society. “Let me also reiterate our pledge that the PPP will continue to uphold the right of the Christians, indeed of all non-Muslims, to be treated as equal citizens of the state and allowed to partake in its development on an equal footing and irrespective of the consideration of cast, creed and colour”.