ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif has wished the Christians living in Pakistan and across the world a `Merry Christmas’ and appreciated the patriotism and dedicated role of minorities in Pakistan for peace, development and prosperity of the country.

“I am immensely happy to note that minorities in Pakistan are actively contributing to the development and prosperity of the country without any hindrance including serving in the Armed Forces of Pakistan,” the prime minister said in his message on the occasion of Christmas.

He said such a dedicated role of minorities reflected the communal harmony and profound cohesion between all faiths practiced 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,” the prime minister remarked.

He also acknowledged the diverse and productive role being played by all the minorities living in Pakistan for the socio-economic development of the country in general and in the fields of health and education in particular.

PM Nawaz Sharif greatly appreciated their patriotism, devoted service and sincere attachment to the country and expressed confidence that they would continue to play their due role for peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan with complete dedication.

He said millions of Christians all around the world and in Pakistan celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ who was sent to this world as a symbol of peace, brotherhood and respect for the entire humanity.

He viewed that Christmas reminded us of the values that Jesus Christ lived in his own life. He not only healed ailing humanity but preached the divine values of tolerance, love and compassion, he added.

He said Christmas was a time for celebration filled with family and friends, warmth and cheerful moments. It is also a time to reflect on the message of Jesus Christ, the eternal massage of love, peace, tolerance and compassion for humanity, he added.

He said Christmas was also a time for re-dedication to Jesus Christ’s teachings and to seek forgiveness for sins. “We, as Muslims deeply revere Jesus Christ as one of the great messengers of Allah Almighty,” he added.

He said the Constitution of Pakistan enshrined the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and safeguarded the legitimate interests of minorities.

The Quaid had, right from the first day of creation of Pakistan unequivocally declared a policy of equality, freedom and security for all communities living in Pakistan irrespective of their religion, profession or ethnic origin. –APP