LAHORE: Punjab Governor Baleeghur Rehman has praised the contributions of Pakistani Christians in the progress and development of the country, especially in the fields of education, health and defence.
Addressing the annual Christmas dinner of IBADAT Trust and tree lighting ceremony at St Thomas Center on Wednesday night, Governor Rehman said IBADAT Trust was playing a commendable role in addressing illiteracy in Pakistan.
“IBADAT has imparted education to over 0.5 million people since its inception in 1980, making them responsible citizens,” the governor said, as he appreciated the efforts of the organisation’s leadership for promotion of education in Pakistan.
Rehman also lauded the community’s services in various sectors, particularly education, health and defence, saying Pakistani Christians have always worked for the betterment of society and overall progress of the country.
“I especially want to express my gratitude to the Christian community and church organisations for helping the government in aiding the flood affectees in their time of need,” he said.
Addressing the occasion, Church of Pakistan Moderator Bishop Dr Azad Marshall thanked the Punjab governor for acknowledging the community’s contributions in the country’s development.
“On behalf of the Christian community I want to assure the Pakistani State of our commitment and dedication to the progress of Pakistan and for its defence”.
“Christians are patriotic Pakistanis and continue to serve the nation with dedication, commitment and compassion in all spheres of life. Though our community continues to face socio-economic challenges, yet we are hopeful that the state institutions will work to address our concerns,” he said.
Bishop Azad said the Christian community, including churches and faith-based organisations, were continuing their work of providing relief to the flood survivors.
“We have not forgotten our brothers and sisters in their time of need. On the occasion of Christmas, I would like to appeal my community members to keep the flood affectees in their prayers and support them in standing back on their feet,” he said.
Bishop Azad, who is also the chairman of the IBADAT Trust, congratulated Executive Director Obaid Nasir and his team for their work and expressed the hope that the organisation would achieve more success in the new year.
Earlier, Governor Rehman inaugurated the ceremony by lighting Lahore’s biggest Christmas tree at St Thomas Center.