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Govt committed to protecting religious minorities’ rights: PM

40Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said there is a religious harmony in Bangladesh and her government is committed to protecting the rights of religious minorities, reports UNB.

Sheikh Hasina said this when Eminence Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Vatican Cabinet Minister and the special envoy to the Holy Pope, met her at her office.

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.

The Prime Minister said her government always encourages dialogue among people of different faiths.

She also appreciated the constructive and significant role played by the catholic community in Bangladesh and particularly mentioned the catholic community’s involvement in promoting education and social services.

Hasina also extended an invitation to Pope Francis through the Vatican Cabinet Minister to visit Bangladesh.

She said Bangladesh deeply values its relations with the Holy See (Vatican) and is committed to further strengthening and deepening the existing close ties between the two countries.

Pope Filoni said this was his first visit to Bangladesh and enjoying the tour.

The Vatican Minister appreciated the peaceful co-existence of people of different religions in Bangladesh and highly lauded the role of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the prevailing religious harmony in Bangladesh.

Noting that although the catholic community is very small in Bangladesh, Filoni said he was overwhelmed by the peaceful coexistence of the people of different faiths as well as immense natural beauty in the country.

PM’s International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, PMO Secretary Suraiya Begum, Vatican ambassador to Dhaka Archbishop George Kocherry and Archbishop of Dhaka Patrick D Rozario were, among others, present.