HAFIZABAD/KAMALIA/ATTOCK/ SADIQABAD/Sialkot-Like other parts of the world, the Christian community celebrated Christmas with reverence and festivity on Monday. In Hafizabad, MNA Ch Shaukat Ali Bhatti visited a local church to express solidarity with the Christian community and shared his joy with the community. While addressing the community members in the church, he said that the minorities in the country had full freedom, and the government was committed to protect their rights which were enshrined in the constitution of the country. He also cut a cake in the church.

The district administration arranged Sasta Bazaar for the Christian community where all the essential commodities were provided to them at cheaper rates. The district police also arranged foolproof security arrangements and established walkthrough gates at the entrance of all 33 churches in the district to prevent any unpleasant incident. The pastors of the churches thanked the administration for providing all sorts of facilities to them to celebrate this auspicious occasion. No untoward incident was reported from any place of the district.

District Chairman Bainul Mazahib Aman Committee Ch Awais Arain also visited Catholic Church in Hafizabad. He congratulated the community members and cut the Christmas cake.

In Kamalia, former MNA Ch Asadur Rehman cut Christmas cake in a ceremony held to celebrate Christmas at Christian Colony, Kamalia. He also handed out Christmas gifts to the Christian families present in the ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, he offered greetings to the Christian community. "The teachings of Jesus are of peace, love, and brotherhood. Jesus taught high moral values and love for humanity," he said. He stated that the Christians living in Pakistan were performing the best services for the development of the nation. "Minorities in Pakistan have complete religious freedom. The PML-N has done exemplary work for the protection of minority rights in its government due to which Pakistani minorities are living in a pleasant environment today," he added. Sardar Raheel Anwar, Chairman Municipality Kamalia Sharif Malik, minority councillor Shaukat Iqbal Bhatti, former chairman Municipality Kamalia Malik Amjad Yaqoob Billa also spoke on the occasion. The ceremony was attended by Benjamin, Salim Mughal, Talib Jawala, Anil Gil, Sunni Gil and other Christian community representatives.

In Attock, the Christian community celebrated Christmas with religious fervour and in a colourful environment. Ceremonies were held at Saint Peter Church, Biblical Church and UP Church Attock. All the churches were beautifully decorated with Christmas trees, bells and colourful buntings. The ceremonies were attended by public representatives and other government officials which included MPA Syed Yawar Bukhari, DPO Attock Hasan Asad Alvi and others. Priests led the church services which were devoted to peace and fraternity among different communities living in the country. They prayed for the forgiveness of their sins and also prayed for the development and prosperity of Pakistan. Main features during the celebrations were hymns presented by the children cladding Santa Claus. Christmas carol and religious songs were sung. The priests during their sermons said: "Let's stand together, celebrate each other, and build a brighter future for all of us and wish joy, health, love, and peace."

In Sadiqabad, PPP MPA Mumtaz Ali Khan Chang said that the Christian community in Pakistan believed in peace and brotherhood. He was talking to media on the occasion of Christmas. Meanwhile, the Christian community in Sadiqabad celebrated Christmas with religious fervour and reverence. According to ASP Dr Hafizur Rehman, the police had ensured foolproof security measures.

In Sialkot, the Christian community celebrated the X-mass with traditional zeal, enthusiasm and religious fervour in all the four Tehsils of Sialkot district. The day dawned with special prayers for national peace, progress and prosperity. The Christians distributed sweets and exchanged X-mass gifts besides attending special services where different religious rituals were performed. The Christians decorated and illuminated all the 83 Churches in Sialkot district and all the 10 churches in Narowal district, amid tight security.

Sialkot Deputy Commissioner Dr. Syed Bilal Haider visited several churches and checked security measures in and around the churches. The DC revealed that as many as 4,931 policemen have been deployed in and around all the 707 churches in Gujranwala Division's all the six Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Mandi Bahaud Din, Hafizabad and Gujranwala districts for security of X-mass Day ceremonies.

ADC (Revenue) Sadia Mehar informed that the Sialkot district administration had established five X-mass Bazaars in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils to facilitate local Christian Community.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Usman Dar, President PTI Central Punjab Umer Dar, PTI MNA (Minorities) Shunila Ruth, SVP PTI (Youth Wing) Central Punjab Dr Mehbub John Piyara and PTI Central Leader Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan also cut X-mass cakes during special ceremonies held at Jinnah House and local churches.

The Sialkot DC hosted a special Christmas Day cake-cutting ceremony in honour of the Christian employees of the district administration.

In Narowal Deputy Commissioner Dr Muhammad Waheed Asghar and DPO Mujeebur Rehman jointly cut a Christmas cake at DC Office. They also distributed gifts among the Christian employees.


HYDERABAD: Christian girls exchange greets after Christmas prayer at Francis Xavier's Cathedral Church.–Online