KARACHI: Sindh government has announced a public holiday throughout the province to mark the occasion of Holi next week on March 24th.
The move comes days after Pakistan’s federal parliament passed a non-binding resolution that called for the country to observe Hindu and Christian holidays.
“We have announced a public holiday across the province on March 24 for the festival of Holi,” Maula Bakhsh Chandio, a senior aide to the province’s chief minister Qaim Ali Shah told AFP.
A government circular that was tweeted by Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari, daughter of the ex-president Asif Ali Zardari, added that all government bodies except essential services would be off for the day.
Pakistan’s Hindus make up around two percent of the country’s 200 million people and mostly live in southern Sindh province. Christians account for roughly 1.6 percent of the population.
The ancient Hindu festival of Holi, which heralds the end of winter and the victory of good over evil, is marked with a national public holiday in India and sees revellers pour onto the streets.
Celebrated mainly in India, Nepal and other countries with large Hindu populations, it falls on the last full moon of winter. –AFP