NPC week-long celebrations to mark Quaid’s birth anniversary
Role of Christian community in Pakistan’s progress, prosperity highlighted
Speakers while addressing a ceremony here at the Aiwan-e-Quaid, Fatima Jinnah Park, paid tributes to Christian community for its role in Pakistan’s uplift, progress and prosperity. The programme was the first of the week-long celebrations to mark Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s 141st birth anniversary and Christmas. The celebrations are the Nazriya Pakistan Council’s (NPC) annual activity to remember the Heroes of Pakistan and to acknowledge and honour Christians’ contributions in society. Senior Vice Chairman of NPC Mian Muhammad Javed, Executive Secretary of NPC and Executive Editor of Pakistan Observer Gauhar Zahid Malik, Father Revered Emmanuel Lorrian, members of the NPC Executive Committee Dr Basharat Jazbi, Admiral (R) Abdul Aziz Mirza, Mrs Farrukh Khan, Mrs Qamar Aftab, Abdullah Yusuf and representatives of the Christian community attended the ceremony.
Mian Javed while referring to Sunday’s (Dec 17, 2017) suicide and gun attack on a church in Quetta, said all the citizens of Pakistan whether Muslims or non-Muslims condemned that attack and stood by the Christians in this moment of great ordeal. The attack on the unarmed innocent citizens who were offering prayers in a local church in Quetta is simply an act of barbarism.
Expressing his condolences with Father Emmanuel Lorrian, Mian Muhammad Javed said terrorism was a threat to all of us and it is the government’s prime responsibility to curb that menace. While giving a background of gatherings of Muslims and Christians, Mian Muhammad Javed said the founder Chairman of NPC late Zahid Malik had laid down the foundation of such events marking unity and harmony among all religions of Pakistan. Representing his community and Christians’ love for the country, Father Emmanuel said Pakistan was Christians’ homeland too and they had the same feeling of pride of being Pakistanis as any other community living in Pakistan. Terrorism and incidents of terrorism can’t weaken our resolve, he said. Father Emmanuel termed NPC gesture of expression of solidarity with Christians quite reassuring and encouraging. Founder Chairman of the NPC late Zahid Malik had initiated this custom of expressing solidarity with Christians at every Christmas, he said. Mr Malik realized fully well how important are the virtues of unity and oneness among the followers of all the faiths and religionsand now his son Executive Secretary of the NPC, Gauhar Zahid Malik is carrying out that noble tradition and the Christian community is grateful to him and the NPC, said Father Emmanuel. Chairman United Christians Fellowship Manzoor Masih in his brief address said Christian community felt deeply for Pakistan and its progress and prosperity are integral part of their prayers.
Later, in the sad memory of those who have lost their lives and to express solidarity with those who sustained injuries in the blast and the attack, the traditional cake cutting ceremony was replaced with one-minute silence on the occasion.