I extend my heartfelt felicitations to our Christian brethren in Pakistan and all over the world on the joyous occasion of Christmas and wish them a happy new year. Christmas is an occasion to share the happiness and blessings of God with our 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. He 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.

The Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was also a strong advocate of the rights of minorities and declared in March 1948 that members of every community will be treated as citizens of Pakistan with equal rights, privileges and obligations and that minorities will be safeguarded and protected. 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. Our policies are focused on creating harmony and cohesion between people of all faiths. The Government of Pakistan would continue to take steps for their welfare and would try its utmost to uphold the principles of equality and justice for all communities residing in Pakistan.

On this happy day, I would like to extend my heartiest appreciation to our Christian brethren 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. Today, we also reiterate our 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.

May the blessings of Allah Almighty be with us all.