Date: April 27, 2016
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
PAKISTAN (ANS – April 27, 2016) – The mainly Islamic nation of Pakistan has made history by issuing a commemorative postage stamp of the Rs.10 denomination, in "recognition of the services for Pakistan of Dewan Bahadur S.P. Singha,” a Christian.
“This is a great news and honor for the Pakistani Christians and also Singha family,” said Nasir Saeed director of CLAAS-UK. “It is the first time in Pakistani history that any Pakistani Christian’s image has been published on a postage stamp.”
Saeed, Director of CLAAS-UK went on to say, “Although the recognition is a bit late, as Mr Singha died in 1948, just a month after the death of Quaid e Azam [the country's founder], it is never too late for him to be given the respect and honor he deserves.”
He added: “This decision of the Pakistani government is commendable. I am sure it will not just raise Pakistani Christians' morale, and make them proud, but it will go some way to restoring their trust in the government. It also encourages and inspires them to continue working hard to play a role in Pakistan’s security and prosperity, as their ancestors did.”
According to Nasir Saeed, Dewan Bahadur S.P. Singha was “an important personality in Pakistan’s history.” He told ANS that Mr. Singha, the then speaker of United Punjab, “played a vital role in the Pakistan’s movement.” Being a speaker, he added, Mr. Singha used his decisive “casting vote” in the Assembly of United Punjab in favour of Pakistan and supported the Quaid-e-Azam's vision of a separate independent country, Pakistan.
Saeed concluded by daying that Mr. Singha was “one of the Christian founders of the Pakistan” and had done “great services” on behalf of the country which, for many years, was “hardly recognised,” but now, by issuing a postage stamp of Rs. 10, “the government has done a great job of recognizing his services for Pakistan.”
The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) is an interdenominational organisation working for Christians who are being persecuted because of their faith in Pakistan. CLAAS works for religious freedom, to stop persecution of Christians in Pakistan because of blasphemy and other discriminatory laws, raise awareness, disseminate information and highlight the plight of Christians on an international level. CLAAS provides free legal aid to victims of religious intolerance in Pakistan, as well as shelter and financial support for the victims and their families. Its UK website is: www.claas.org.uk.
Photo captions: 1) One of the postage stamps. 2) Dan and Norma Wooding with their youngest son, Peter, at their home in Southern California.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 75, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for nearly 53 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS), and is the author of some 45 books. He also has a radio show and two TV shows, all based in Southern California.