Pakistan to declare Holi, Diwali as official holidays

Taking a positive step into the interest of minorities, Pakistan is set to declare official holidays on Holi, Diwali and Easter after its parliament on Tuesday adopted a resolution to this effect.


The resolution, which was moved by lawmaker Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani — also a senior leader of the Pakistan Hindu Council, — was adopted by the National Assembly to take steps to declare holidays on the festivals of minority religions.


“This house is of the opinion that government should take steps to declare Holi, Diwali and Easter as closed holidays for minorities,” the resolution read.


After the country gained independence, festivals such as Holi and Diwali were deemed as official holidays in Pakistan. However, celebration with pomp and splendour became a rare site after military ruler Zia-ul-Haq adopted his policy of “Islamisation”.


However, the country is in for a change. According to several state-run media reports, the Pakistan government has agreed upon the resolution.


The interior ministry has already given allowance to government departments and institutions to grant leave to minorities on their religious festivals, the Minister of state for religious affairs Pir Aminul Hasnat Shah said.


The Law minister Pervaiz Rashid, too didn’t have any objection. However, he added that the resolution might be given a thought since the number of holidays in Pakistan is more than any other country.


Currently, Hindu festivals Holi and Diwali are celebrated widely in the province of Sindh, owing to the large number of Hindu population.


News24 Bureau