Lahore -  Like around the world, Christians in Pakistan are celebrating Christmas with enthusiasm today. Festivities commenced on midnight with services in all the churches in the country. The Christmas carols will precede the prayers service for peace and solidarity.

A special Christmas Peace Train is reaching Lahore Railways Station today. National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq and Railways Minister Kh Saad Rafique will visit the train.

Furthermore, PML-Q president Ch Shujat Hussain, senior leader Ch Parvez Elahi have felicitated the nation on the Quaid-i-Azam Day, saying every Pakistani will have to demonstrate same spirit and practice which was seen during the Pakistan Movement under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

They also congratulated Christians and said that their party will continue to fully protect the rights of the Christians and believers of other religions in Pakistan.

CM says under Nawaz, PML-N ensuring minority rights

In his message, Punjab Chief Minister praised Christians role in national development.  The CM said:  “December 25 is a day full of joys equally for the Muslims and Christians as it is the birthday of the Christ and founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.”

He said: “We being Muslims believe that the Christ is messenger of Allah Almighty and we have great respect for him.”

He laid stress on promotion of harmony, unity, tolerance, peace and love.

“Christians are a peaceful community and respectable for us and today, we are participating in their joys.  They never hurt anyone and always talked to resolve issues amicably. According to the constitution of Pakistan, all the minorities living in the country have complete religious freedom and equal rights and under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, PML-N government has ensured protection of minority rights.”

He said the Punjab government has taken solid steps for the welfare of all the minorities, including Christians. He said renovation of churches is among the priorities of government. He said that quota allocated for minorities in government jobs has been increased and is being fully implemented.

He said that all the minorities including Christians enjoy complete freedom to lead their life according to their beliefs. He said that need of interreligious harmony has increased manifold than before at a time when Pakistan is facing problems. Therefore, we have to promote the culture of tolerance, accommodation and forbearance, he added.

“Pakistan is all of us and we will have to work jointly for the promotion of religious harmony and support each other in development of the country.”