Christmas festivities and celebrations took place yesterday with traditional enthusiasm across Pakistan like in other parts of the world. Special services were organised on occasion in the Churches across different cities of the country for the prosperity of Pakistan under tight security arrangements made by the federal and provincial governments.

The prayers were followed by distribution of sweets and cutting of cakes. The people also visited their relatives and friends to exchange the Christmas greetings. The Christian community decorated the churches and their homes in connection with Christmas. Residential areas were decorated with lights, and traditional Christmas trees.

The President and Prime Minister of the country felicitated the Christian community of the country on the eve. In their messages, both leaders shed light on the life of Jesus Christ and shared the lessons that contemporary world can learn from the practices of Jesus and appreciated the sacrifices of the Christians made for the socio-economic development of their homeland. Army Chief also joined the Christian community in Rawalpindi and acknowledged their role in the development of the country. In fact, all political parties congratulated the community on their special and joyous day.

However, it is also a sad reality that the Christians of Pakistan are not a religious minority that is often the target of the religious extremists but also a marginalised group on socio-economic stratum. Despite all the congratulatory notes and messages forwarded by the PPP leadership, more than 9500 Christian workers of civic agencies were not given salaries before their big day. Because of the delay on the part of the provincial government and lethargic bureaucracy, these people failed to enjoy the festivities of Christmas day. Despite the orders of Sindh High Court to pay the Christian workers on time, the bureaucratic delays made the families suffer and deprived of the joys of the eve. It is nothing but an indication of the fact that the Sindh government is failing its minorities.