“My dear brothers and sisters!
“Assalamo Alaikum and a very good Morning!
“On the auspicious occasion of Christmas, I wish to extend my heartiest greetings to the Christian community of Pakistan in the UK and to all Christians the world over. Christmas holds a special place in our hearts as it marks the birth of our beloved Prophet Jesus Christ.
“He was sent to this world as a symbol of peace, brotherhood and respect for the entire humanity. All his life Prophet Jesus Christ preached the divine values of tolerance, love and compassion for all. And Christmas is a special time to reflect on these values.
“The day has a special place in Pakistan’s national calendar as it also marks the birthday of the Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
“Pakistan is a multi-religious, multicultural, pluralistic society, where people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds are living together. Our great Quaid had right from the very first day of the creation of Pakistan, unequivocally declared a policy of equality, freedom and respect for minorities living in Pakistan irrespective of their religion, profession or ethnic origin. His vision is clearly enshrined in our constitution to safeguard the legitimate interests of all the minorities in Pakistan.
“In accordance with the vision of Quaid, the Government of Pakistan is totally dedicated to preserve peaceful coexistence and equal opportunities enjoyed by all Pakistanis. It is determined to empower them to use their abilities for national development.
“On this occasion, it is important to recognize the active role of the Christian community in Pakistan’s independence movement and in its socio-economic development. I am confident that our Christian brothers and sisters both in Pakistan and the UK will continue to play their due role in the development of their country with dedication.
“Unfortunately, this year the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the lives of millions of families across the globe and, therefore, has dampened the spirit of traditional festivity. The true spirit of Christmas is characterized by caring and sharing. We should aspire to live up to these ideals in the midst of these exceptionally challenging times.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those experiencing bereavement and hard times due to the pandemic. We can all take comfort from the selfless and heroic efforts of the health professionals, key workers and charitable organizations that have been tirelessly helping the humanity throughout the pandemic. We are indebted to them, indeed.
“As many of you are braving the COVID-19 restriction, I request you to stay safe and take care of your loved ones and neighbours. Together we would inshallah pass through this pandemic.
“Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year.”