S.P Singha Award,2023 at Governor House Lahore, Punjab

S.P Singha Award,2023 at Governor House Lahore, Punjab Christians' Role in Creation of Pakistan Unforgettable.

Governor Punjab Muhammad Balighur Rehman said that the role of the Christian community in the creation of Pakistan is unforgettable.

on 9th October, 2023 the ceremony of S.P Dewan Bahadur Singha Award.2023 organized by Mr. Samuel Payara Chairman Implementation of Minority Rights Forum (IMRF) at the Governor's House on Monday. Governor Punjab Muhammad Balighur Rehman was the chief guest of the award ceremony of S.P Singha award.  


Fr. James Channan OP Director Peace Center, Chairman IMRF Samuel Payara, Sister Anna Bakshi were guests of honors and with it many other guests were present in the function. The Governor Punjab gave away Dewan Bahadur Singha Awards to those who have rendered outstanding services in various fields. Mr. Samuel Payara welcomed all nominees and guests and he thanked the Governor of Punjab that every year we organize this S.P Singha Award ceremony with the cooperation of Governor house Punjab. He said that in this award ceremony we are presenting 24 S.P Singha Award 2023 to different personalities from Pakistan. He shared that In 1942, Singha held a reception in Jinnah’s honour and pledged his full support to the idea of Pakistan. In an infamous speech on a later occasion, he said, “At the time of partition of the subcontinent of India, in the entire country, the Christians should be counted with Muslims.” In the run-up to the 1945-1946 elections, the All-Indian Christian League and All India Christian Association hailed the slogan, ‘Live Long Pakistan.’ In November 1946, Singha said, “from today Jinnah is our leader…”

On June 23, 1947 (2 months before India’s Independence), a meeting was held at the Punjab Legislative Assembly. to determine whether the British controlled province should be a part of Pakistan or not. A state of violence broke out in the Assembly after Sikh leader Tara Singh warned of dire consequences if anyone voted in favour of Pakistan. With the help of his Christian colleagues, namely, Cecil Gibbon and Fazal Elahi, Singha (who had two votes, one additional vote as Assembly Speaker) was able to turn the vote in favour of Pakistan with 91 vs 88 votes. It was decided that Punjab would be divided into two. When the Radcliffe Line was to be drawn by the Boundary Commission, Singha and other Christian leaders announced that the Christian population would be counted as the Muslim population. Singha’s aide Gibbon argued that Lahore should be made a part of Western Punjab and that all Anglo-Indian Christians must make their way to Pakistan. Governor Punjab Muhammad Balighur Rehman said after the establishment of Pakistan, Christian community rendered valuable services in various fields including health, education and law.
He said Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had said that the rights of minorities will be protected in Pakistan, adding that the minorities have full protection and equal rights as per the vision of Quaid-e-Azam and the Constitution of Pakistan.

http://peacecenter.org.pk/upload/image004_4.pngHe said among the heroes who played an important role in the establishment of Pakistan, the name of S.P Dewan Bahadur Singha is worth mentioning, adding the government had also issued S.P. Dewan Bahadur Singha commemorative stamp in recognition of his services.
The Governor Punjab said minorities have equal rights and opportunities in the country, adding that Senator Kamran Michael was the first finance minister belonging to the Minority who presented the budget of Punjab. He said the minority community played a great role in the formation of Pakistan, and they are actively participating in the development and prosperity of the beloved country even today. He further said, "We have to promote love, tolerance and brotherhood in the society."

The Governor Punjab gave away Dewan Bahadur Singha Awards to those who have rendered outstanding services in various fields. Mr. Asher Nazir Executive Secretary Peace Center Lahore, Pakistan received Dewan Bahadur S.P. Singha Award 2023 as promoter of Peace and Interfaith Harmony in Pakistan from Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman Governor of Punjab, Pakistan and Fr. James Channan OP Director Peace Center at Governor House Punjab. With this Award he received a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of his valuable services in Peace and Interfaith harmony and development of Pakistan.

Report Prepared by:  Asher Nazir

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Peace Center is very important institution which is playing a significant role in spite of all the difficulties we are confronted with. A couple of Dominican Friars are active in Christian- Muslim dialogue and they are well known both nationally and internationally for promoting Christian-Muslim dialogue. It is top priority of the Dominican Order in the world and in Pakistan as well.
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