Islamabad  - Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) will soon introduce `Scholarships and financial aid’ for minority students including Christian community in Pakistan to provide financial assistance to the needy and deserving students, enabling them to continue their study.

The AIOU, as a mega University in the public sector wishes to fulfil its responsibility of meeting the educational needs of the people across the board, said by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui while addressing the Christian employees at a function held here the other day in connection with `Christmas Day.

The function was jointly arranged by the University’s Project Directorate and Employees Welfare Association.

Dr Muhammad Zaigham Qadeer, Engineer Sharifullah, President Malik Muhamad Saeed and General Secretary Sher Asif Satti of the Association were also present on the occasion, said a news release issued here.

AIOU is in process to launch the new academic program on the world’s religions, the University will seek the support of the well known pastors for enlisting the chapter of Christian communities, said the Vice-Chancellor.

A big tree of Christmas will also be placed in front of Central Library to provide a real picture to Christian employees working in AIOU and to join them in their happiness.

He said that Islam is a religion of peace that teaches tolerance, peace, justice, equality and welfare of humanity without any prejudice.

Islam always stands for the human dignity, safety of humanity and global peace for the humanity without discrimination of religions or civilisations and there is no room for sectarianism in Islam.

The Christmas Day event was attended by more than 120-members of Christian employees.

Pastor Qamar-uz-Zaman and Shoukat Siddiqui were also present in cutting the cake ceremony.

They paid glowing tributes to Hazrat Esa (AS) for his message of love to humanity. “We should re-pledge on this auspicious occasion to dedicate ourselves for peace and stability in the country”, they added.

Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui congratulated the Christian community on the Christmas Day, wishing them a happy life.

He assured that the employees’ welfare will remain his top priority. “We fully share their pleasures and happiness,” he added.