On the auspicious occasion of the birthday of Jesus Christ, LUBP wishes merry Christmas to all Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs etc of Pakistan and the entire world. In this post we, are publishing an important message of peace and felicitation to Christians and all other Pakistanis by President Asif Ali Zardari.
Karachi: 25 December 2012. President Asif Ali Zardari has reiterated the commitment of the government for the welfare of non-Muslim brethren living in Pakistan. Addressing a function in connection with Christmas celebrations at the Mohatta Palace here on Monday night, he said: “We will continue to fight along with our Christian brothers and sisters for the rights of all non-Muslims and the deprived citizens. Together we will continue our struggle for establishing a just, liberal and pluralistic society in Pakistan.” The President called for disapproving the prophets of gloom and doom and those who talk of a clash of civilisations and urged the need for harmony between civilisations. Religious tolerance and harmony is the best weapon to fight hatred and violence, he said and urged for applying these weapons in fighting bigotry and hatred.
While referring to Jesus Christ’s message of love, peace, forgiveness and brotherhood, he said Christmas was a time for festivity, celebration and rejoicing and reminds us of all messages of Jesus Christ. “We Muslims deeply revere Jesus Christ as one of the great messengers of Allah,” President Zardari said. Commenting on the recent times of strife, violence and militancy, the President said Jesus Christ’s universal message of love for mankind is most relevant today. He said: “Five years ago we lost Benazir Bhutto to senseless violence. We lost Shahbaz Bhatti and only two days ago Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bashir Ahmad Bilour and countless were martyred during the past years.” He urged the need for imbibing the teachings of love and harmony preached by Jesus Christ. “We uphold the right of the Christians, indeed of all non-Muslim citizens, to be treated as equal citizens of the State,” the President said and added: “We firmly believe that everyone must partake in the development of the country on an equal footing.”
The President admired the Christians living in Pakistan for their contributions in the development of the country and termed them as a law-abiding and loyal community. He said the best tributes to Prophet Jesus is to imbibe the values of peace, love, tolerance and brotherhood, which, he said, are the values common not only in Christianity and Islam, but also in other religions. President Zardari said protection of the rights of all citizens -Muslims and non Muslims alike – is one of the main agendas of the government. He said: “We are determined to empower them and end discrimination against them.”
The President also recounted various significant measures undertaken by the present government for the welfare of minorities in Pakistan, including allocation of four reserved seats in the Senate, five percent job quota for them in all federal government jobs, commemorating 11th August every year as Minority Day, establishment of a Hotline for timely redressal of the grievances of the non-Muslim citizens and considering establishment of Interfaith Harmony Committees at district level. These committees, he said, are meant to create better understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim citizens of the State. He said efforts are also afoot to increase minority seats in the National Assembly.
The President said the present government decided to commemorate August 11 every year to remind the nation of the Quaid’s historic speech in the Constituent Assembly in 1947 declaring equal rights for non-Muslim citizens of the State. The President recalled the historic address in which the Father of the Nation said: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State. We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.” (Source)