President Dr Arif Alvi while lauding the role of minorities, particularly the Christians, for the socio-economic development, reiterated the commitment of the Government of Pakistan for providing equal opportunities to all Pakistanis. “On this happy day, I highly appreciate the services and role being played by all the minorities living in Pakistan, particularly the Christian community for the socio-economic development of the country in general and in the fields of health and education in particular,” the president said in his message on Christmas being celebrated Saturday. He felicitated and wished Merry Christmas to the Christians in Pakistan and all over the world celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ who was sent to this world as a symbol of peace, brotherhood and respect for humanity. “This day reminds us of the values that Jesus Christ observed in his own life. He not only healed the ailing humanity but preached the divine values of tolerance, love and compassion,” the president said. He said Christmas was an auspicious occasion to reflect on the message of Jesus Christ, the eternal message of love, peace, tolerance and compassion for humanity. We, as Muslims, deeply respect Jesus Christ as one of the great messengers of Allah Almighty, he added. President Alvi said the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had, right from the first day of the 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. Similarly, he said the Constitution of Pakistan had guaranteed fundamental rights to all citizens irrespective of their religion, caste and creed. He said the Government of Pakistan was committed to providing equal opportunities to all Pakistanis including our minorities. The citizens in Pakistan enjoy all rights and the government has undertaken a number of measures to empower them in all spheres of life, the president remarked. “I am immensely happy to say that minorities in Pakistan are actively contributing to the development and prosperity of the country. This reflects the inter-faith harmony and profound cohesion between all faiths being practised across the country. This is the spirit that binds us together as one family to celebrate our blessings and the values we hold dear,” he added. The president was confident to say that the minorities would continue to play their role in the promotion of peace and prosperity of Pakistan.