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‘Minorities have complete freedom in Pakistan’

According to the London-based Minority Rights Group International, ethnic minorities in Pakistan include Sindhis (14.1 per cent), Pashtuns (15.42 per cent), Mohajirs (7.57 per cent), Baluchis (3.57 per cent).

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PESHAWAR

Karachi, Feb 24 : Members of minority groups in Pakistan can practice their religion openly and move about with complete freedom in the Muslim-majority country, a Minister has clamed.

While visiting the Swami Narayan Temple in Karachi on Sunday, provincial minister Nasir Hussain Shah vowed to protect the rights of minorities, reports The Express Tribune.

He commended the role and contribution that minorities have played in the development and progress of Pakistan, adding that he had come to the temple with a message of peace.

On behalf of the government, he also announced that 10,000 copies of the Bhagavad Gita would soon be distributed.

According to the London-based Minority Rights Group International, ethnic minorities in Pakistan include Sindhis (14.1 per cent), Pashtuns (15.42 per cent), Mohajirs (7.57 per cent), Baluchis (3.57 per cent).

Religious minorities include Christians (1.59 per cent), Ahmadis (0.22 per cent), Hindus (1.6 per cent), Shias, Isma’ilis, Bohras, Parsis and Sikhs.

Disaster

India switches off power, and lights up to thank ‘Corona warriors’

“I request all of of you to switch off all the lights of your house on 5 April at 9 PM for 9 minutes, and just light a candle, ‘diya’, or mobile’s flashlight, to mark our fight against coronavirus,” he said.

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9 Baje Nine Minutes

New Delhi, April 5 : Even as there were over 3,500 coronavirus cases on Sunday and the death count reached 83, India overwhelmingly responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call on Sunday night. Right at 9 p.m., Indians switched off lights and lit candles or flashed mobile torches for nine minutes to express solidarity with “Corona warriors”.

From metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai to tier two cities like Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior or Karnataka’s Mysuru, people rose above their political inclination to respond to PM Modi’s call and project a united front.

In the national capital, Prime Minister Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind lit divas. The PM in fact posted his photos along with a Sanskrit shloka. BJP President J.P. Nadda lit candles along with his entire family. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi released a video holding a candle in hand.

Modi’s mother Hira Ba too took part in this exercise.

Even senior police personnel like Noida Police Commissioner Alok Singh were seen lighting divas along with his family. Among business leaders, Biocon Chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw tweeted a photo, holding a candle. She said: “Lit the flame of unity for universal fight against COVID-19.” Diplomats like Maya Kadosh, Israel’s Deputy Chief of Mission, posted a video too.

However, it is the common men and women who led this initiative, regardless of their views on Modi and his policies. In housing societies, apartment balconies, residences, slum clusters, “normal Indians showed they care for those who care for them — doctors, nurses, and police personnel.

India, like most nations, is manoeuvering through a very delicate time with the nation of 133 crores on a 21-day-long nationwide shutdown, affecting supply of essential goods as well as people’s morale. While various sectors of the economy, especially hospitality and manufacturing industry, have already taken a beating, those who haven’t faced the economic ramifications are overwhelmed with the idea of working from home, often resulting in domestic confrontations, or wors, as per as claimed by the National Commission for Women. However, in this hour of absolute crisis, the Prime Minister and his message seems to have worked well in containing the disgruntlement of people facing hardships who end up rallying around him, including those who have not necessarily voted for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

On Friday morning, PM Modi shared a short video clip, as announced by him earlier on Thursday, urging all to light diyas or candles or even flash flights in their balconies or outside their main gate, as a mark of respect to the Corona Warriors.

“I request all of of you to switch off all the lights of your house on 5 April at 9 PM for 9 minutes, and just light a candle, ‘diya’, or mobile’s flashlight, to mark our fight against coronavirus,” he said.

While it was dismissed as unnecessary by many and a diversionby the opposition, its emotional appeal rallied many Indians together immediately. A new hashtag – 9 baje 9 minute started to trend on Twitter almost immediately. And on Sunday, common people went to their balconies to light candles, as a symbolic move.

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9-minute lights off for solidarity: Indians come together

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nine-minute show 9 PM
Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP - Getty Images

New Delhi, April 5 (IANSlife) As a gesture and acknowledgement to all those who are on the frontlines in the battle against the COVID-19 outbreak, Indians came together for a nine-minute show of solidarity at 9 pm on Sunday.

On the request of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, people across the country switched their lights off, coming out on their rooftops or balconies to light a candle for nine minutes as a salutation for those risking their lives while fighting coronavirus,

The Prime Minister had requested Indians to pay their respects in a video message stating, “We have stood together and fought the coronavirus pandemic togethere We have set an example to the world. In the time of lockdown, we displayed the same unity. Crores of people are in their homes. We might be alone in our homes, but we are not alone in this fight. The Indian society is fighting this together. This Sunday, April 5, we must come together to dissolve the darkness of COVID-19 and bring in light. On April 5, 9pm, I need your nine minutes. Turn off all lights in your home and light lamps, mobile flash lights and torches. We are not alone in this fight. Nobody is alone. But, please do this activity within the confines of your home. Do not violate social distancing.”

India is currently under a 21-day lockdown, imposed by the government, which is one of the strictest steps taken in the fight against the novel coronavirus compared to any other nation in the world.

Many celebrities took to their social media accounts to post pictures in support of what is being called the e#9Baje9Minute’ or e#9pm9minutes’ across online platforms.

Actor Akshay Kumar posted a picture of himself holding a candle at his window commenting, “Together we stand and together we will come out of this dark phase. Till then stay strong, stay safe #9Baje9Minute.” Actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh also shared a picture during this time of self-isolation.

Power couple, cricketer Virat Kohli and actress Anushka Sharma also posted a pictue lighting traditional diyas (candles). Virat commented, “A prayer in unity does make a difference. Pray for every being and stand together,” while Anushka wrote, “I light a diya everyday for many years now. And as I light the diya I seek guidance, asking for the darkness in me to be dispelled. For many days since the turn of the recent events across the world, I have prayed to God to end the suffering of so many who are losing their lives without their families beside them, for the less-fortunate and the needy whose lives have turned upside down completely, for all the healthcare professionals who are working tirelessly & bravely to protect the lives of other beings, for those who are uncertain about their jobs and future. So tonight, I prayed extra for everyone and I lit diyas with the whole of India and we all prayed for each other. Prayers never go in vain,” on their respective Instagram posts.

During this time India has seen the cleanest air levels in almost 3 decades as businesses, industries and transport have come to a standstill. However, while most choose to support the activity, many Indians especially in affluent localities or over crowded societies saw this as an opportunity to light fire crackers, creating both noise pollution and air pollution, which was neither the request nor the motive behind the event.

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India

Covid-19 cases rise in capital but Delhi sets off fireworks

Many were left questioning the reason for celebration when India, and the world, is struggling to contain the pandemic.

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coronavirus Darkness Nine Minutes

New Delhi, April 5 : As the nation came together to show solidarity and unity by switching off lights and lighting candles and diyas for nine minutes at 9 p.m. on Sunday, many places in Delhi NCR also saw crackers being burst even as the capital saw another death and cases rise to above 500.

Many were left questioning the reason for celebration when India, and the world, is struggling to contain the pandemic.

On Twitter, Dr Monika Singh asked “what is the celebration for…”

Congress’ south Delhi councillor Abhishek Dutt tweeted video of firecrackers and said that pollution level should be checked now.

Many on the social media wondered how the people got firecrackers amid the lockdown.

Congress leader Rajiv Shukla tweeted: “Nobody was suppose to burst crackers PM never said that .Actually today’s event was not a celebration @PMOIndia @INCIndia”

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