The President, Prime Minister and other government officials extended their congratulations and warmest wishes to members of the congregation as Christians around the nation observe the festive occasion of Christmas on Friday.
Special ceremonies are being conducted in churches around the country, according to Radio Pakistan, in which prayers will also be held for Pakistan’s solidarity and prosperity.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 9,000 lives in the nation so far, has hampered celebrations this time around. Pakistan recorded the highest number of deaths during the second Covid-19 wave on Thursday, and the second highest since the pandemic started, as 111 people died in the region.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) released recommendations for Christmas celebrations earlier this week in an attempt to prevent the transmission of the virus. Terming Christmas-related incidents a big risk, the NCOC released recommendations to minimise the transmission of the virus from person to person.
It requested individuals during the holidays to perform the least possible travel.
Social visits can be stopped during the holidays and family celebrations. Christmas shopping should be limited to minimal necessities only and it is not necessary to crowd in markets. The typical exchanging of presents and large-scale home celebrations are likely to increase transmission, so they should also be prevented,” it said.”
The NCOC has suggested that the length of celebrations be limited and that Christmas trees and decorations be disinfected annually in public areas. Churches were also asked to organise citizens’ thermal scanning at entrance gates while preachers were urged to deliver virus sermons and prevention measures.
Messages pour in
Prime Minister Imran Khan extended his “heartiest felicitations” to the Christian brothers in Pakistan and around the world in his letter to the Christian community.
The birth of the Apostle Jesus, who was brought to this world as a sign of goodwill, brotherhood and love for mankind, is being celebrated today by millions of Christians all over the world and in Pakistan.
This day reminds us of the ideals followed by the Apostle Jesus in his own life. In a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, he not only healed mankind but preached the divine ideals of peace, empathy and compassion.
“Christmas is an occasion to reflect on the message of Prophet Jesus, the eternal message of love, peace, tolerance and compassion for humanity,” he added, adding that the government was committed to upholding the sanctity of life and equal opportunities enjoyed by all Pakistanis.
I am exceedingly pleased to notice that Pakistan’s minorities are successfully contributing to the country’s growth and stability without hindrance, including in politics, social services, military, education, health and many other fields.
“This reflects the communal harmony and profound cohesion between all faiths practised across the length and breadth of the country. This is the spirit that binds us together as one family to celebrate our blessings and the values we hold dear,” he said.
On this happy day, I would like to acknowledge the diverse and productive role played by all of Pakistan’s minorities, especially the Christian community, for the country’s socio-economic development, he said.
President Arif Alvi said the policies of the government were aimed at promoting peace and solidarity among citizens of all religions. “The government will try its utmost to uphold the principles of equality and justice for all communities residing in Pakistan,” he said.
Asad Umar, Minister for Planning, Growth and Special Initiatives, urged those celebrating to be “responsible in how you celebrate and take the right precautions for yourself and your loved ones”
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Chairman of the PPP, praised the role of Christians and other minority groups in the country’s growth and assured them that their rights as equal citizens of Pakistan will always be secured, as enshrined in the Constitution.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister of Education Shafqat Mahmood and SAPM Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari also wished a happy Christmas to all those celebrating.
May 2021 would be a great year for all of us everywhere,”May 2021 be a better year for all of us every where.”
Former Sindh Minister Sharjeel Memon shared the expectation that “this Christmas you have all the blessings which you deserve” “Praying for your happiness , success and safety.”