Pakistan this week appointed its first Hindu, Kailash Kumar, to the rank of Lt. Colonel, state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) said.
Non-Muslims make up only about three percent of the 220 million population of Pakistan, which was founded as a haven for the sub-continent’s Muslims on independence from the British in 1947 with a promise of religious freedom to minorities.
Pakistan’s Hindus and other minorities have faced a surge of violence in recent years as militants attack groups that do not share their strict interpretation of Islam.
“Kumar is the first Hindu officer to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Pakistan Army,” PTV said on Twitter.
Pakistan’s information minister, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, congratulated Kumar on the appointment.
“Congratulations Kailash Kumar, you are our pride. #Pakarmyzindabad,” he tweeted.