ISLAMABAD, Dec 24 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi said that all citizens of Pakistan enjoyed freedom of religion and worship under country’s constitution and the government’s policies too were focused on creating harmony and cohesion among people of all faiths.
“All citizens of the country enjoy the freedom of religion and worship under the Pakistani constitution. Being equal citizens of the state, the government empowers them to develop their abilities to their fullest extent,” the president said in his message on Christmas being observed Friday (December 25).
Extending “heartfelt felicitations” to the Christians in Pakistan and all over the world on the Christmas, the president also wished them a Happy New Year.
He said the Christmas was an occasion to share the happiness and blessings of God with the loved ones.
“On this day, we pay tribute to Jesus Christ (PBUH) who was a symbol of peace, brotherhood and respect for entire humanity. He not only healed the ailing humanity but preached the divine values of tolerance, love and compassion. He urged people to live a virtuous life and seek Allah’s mercy,” the president said.
He said Jesus Christ (PBUH) also propagated the message of peace, love and forgiveness for all. As a Messenger of Allah, Jesus Christ (PBUH) is venerable not only to Christians but also to Muslims, he added.
The president told the countrymen that Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was also a strong advocate of the rights of minorities. In March 1948, the great Quaid had declared that members of every community would be treated as citizens of Pakistan with equal rights, privileges and obligations and that minorities will be safeguarded and protected, he added.
The president also appreciated Christian community for their patriotism and devoted service to the country.
“We are proud of our Christian community, as they are an essential part of our multilingual, multireligious polity,” he said and reiterated the commitment to build a society based on mutual respect of all religions and communities; a tolerant society and a state that provides equal rights and opportunities to all its citizens.