I extend my warmest greetings to all our Christian brethren on the occasion of Christmas. Much more than festivity and celebration, the spirit of Christmas is to share, to reach out, and to love all humanity.

Jesus Christ brought and preached the message of peace, brotherhood and love for the whole humanity. He guided people towards virtuous living and urged them to seek divine mercy. As a Divine Messenger, Jesus Christ is venerable to adherents of all religions.

On this auspicious occasion, I wish to commend and appreciate the sincere efforts of our Christian community for the socioeconomic development of their motherland. I also take this opportunity to pay the highest tribute to the sacrifices made by our Christian brethren in Pakistan’s fight against terrorism.

The Government of Pakistan holds sacrosanct the equality and freedom of conscience of all citizens irrespective of belief, creed or religion. Our commitment to this fundamental principle is firmly grounded in the teachings of Islam, the vision of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the inviolable guarantees of our Constitution. We are committed to building a society that respects difference and finds strength in diversity; a nation that is tolerant and cohesive; and a state that provides equal rights and opportunities to all citizens.

We are proud of our Christian brethren; they are an integral part of our multicultural polity; and I am confident that their patriotic contributions will continue to accelerate the pace of Pakistan’s progress.