SIALKOT               -           Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that the minority communities enjoy complete religious freedom in the country.

She said the government was making an all-out effort to protect their rights. She stated this while addressing a meeting of local Christians held at Sialkot.

Firdous highly hailed the role of Christian Community in peace, prosperity and development. She added that the Christians were playing their pivotal role shoulder to shoulder with the Muslim for national integrity, unity, prosperity, solidarity and stability.

She also cut the X-mass cake and greeted the Christian community on the eve of X-mass Day.

Dr Firdous and Minister for Special Education Punjab Muhammad Ikhlaq reviewed the security arrangements made by the Sialkot police for X-mass day.

Sialkot Deputy Commissioner Dr. Nasir Mehmood Bashir, Sialkot DPO  Capt (Rtd) Mustansar Feroz, senior officials of Sialkot district administration and local Christian and Muslim religious clerics also attended this important meeting.

The government has ordered the fool proof security arrangements in and around all the 531 churches and 100 Christians’ recreational places in Gujranwala Division’s all the six Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad and Gujranwala, in a bid to avert any untoward incident ahead of the X-mass Day.

According to the officials concerned, the provincial government has also issued the directives to all the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) in these districts, advising them to ensure early deputation of the police and other security personnel in and around these churches, besides, keeping 24 hours vigilant eyes on the dubious persons.

Local administrations and police have also been asked to ensure the latest metal detectors, walk through gates and using the sniffer dogs for the security purposes, in this regard.

Senior officials added that there are 134 churches in Sialkot district, 108 churches in Narowal district, 21 churches in Gujrat district, 25 churches in Hafizabad district, 10 churches in Mandi Bahauddin district and 233 churches in Gujranwala district, where the tight security had already been beefed up, as the police troops and personnel of the law enforcing agencies will patrol from December 24th to 26th to ensure, security and peace.

The police and other law enforcing agencies have been put on red alert and CCTV Camera have been installed in and around churches.

Meanwhile, the Christians have decorated and illuminated all the Churches to celebrate the X-mass Day with traditional zeal, enthusiasm and religious fervour.

Christian community has also completed all the necessary arrangement to celebrate X-mass Day with traditional zeal, enthusiasm and religious fervour in Sialkot district, with the renewal of a pledge to play their pivotal role shoulder to shoulder with the Muslims for national prosperity and solidarity. All the 134 churches in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial, Uggoki, Satrah, Pasrur, Badiana, Chawinda and surrounding areas have been illuminated, in this regard.

The Christians will offer special prayers in all the Churches for global peace, national integrity, solidarity and prosperity. The Christians will also cut the Christmas cakes, besides, greeting and exchanging each other and exchanged gifts during the special X-mass ceremonies.

The X-mass trees and churches were decorated and illuminated by the Christians in Sialkot, Daska, Bhopalwala, Sambrial, Uggoki, Aadha, Pasrur, Chawinda, Badiana and surrounding areas.