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Speech in reply to Address of Welcome presented to Quaid-e-Azam and Miss Fatima Jinnah by the Parsi community of Sind at the Katrak Parsi Colony, Karachi: February 3, 1948.

I am thankful to you for your Address of Welcome and the kind words you have spoken about me and Miss Fatima Jinnah. I deeply appreciate your offer of loyal co-operation with the Government of Pakistan and I assure you that Pakistan means to stand by its oft-repeated promises of according equal treatment to all its nationals irrespective of their cast and creed. Pakistan, which symbolizes the aspirations of a nation that found itself in a minority in the Indian sub-continent, can not be unmindful of the minorities within its own borders. It is a pity that the fair name of Karachi was sullied by the sudden outburst of communal frenzy last month and I can not find words strong enough to condemn the action of those who were responsible for it. Government is determined in its resolve to root out lawlessness and to see that there is no recurrence of such incidents.

As you may be aware, the Government has been making genuine efforts to allay the fears and suspicions of the minorities and if their exodus from Sind still continues, it is not because they are not wanted here but because they are more prone to listen to people across the border who are interested in pulling them out. I am sorry for these misguided people for nothing but disillusionment awaits them in their promised land.

I realized that during the last few months there have been encroachments on private right of property but you should not judge Government's action too harshly. Accomodation could not be provided for the large number of Pakistan officials and foriegn legations without disturbing some of the local residents. The problem was further complicated by the influx of a large number of refugees - whose tempers had been frayed by the suffering undergone by them. These unfortunate people require sympathetic handling, and your assistance in resettling them will be most welcome.

Parsis as a community have fortunately escaped the ravages of the recent internecine conflict that has brought so much suffering to other communities, and, I see no reason why the future should hold any terror for them. They have already established a place for themselves in this country by their organizing ability, spirit of enterprise and hard work. Pakistan will provide and ample field for the outlet of their genius particularly in the realm of trade, commerce and industry and they should come forward and play their role as true citizens in making Pakistan one of the greatest nations and a land of prosperity and plenty.

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