The army chief deserves a lot of praise for inviting the religious leaders of Christian community to the GHQ to give consolation to them in a meaningful manner. Christians are the second biggest minority after Hindus in Pakistan.

No doubt, the Jaranwala violence against the Christian community has been condemned widely across the country and abroad. The COAS has lauded the role played by the Christian community in the national development, including the promotion of quality education, healthcare.

Moreover, the members of this community have been playing an outstanding role in the defence of the motherland as well. That the significance of the contributions made by the members of this community cannot be overemphasized is a fact.

Karachi, a city of teeming millions, hosts a number of quality education and medical institutions run by Christian missionaries such as St Patrick’s School and College, St Joseph’s School and College, St Peter’s School, Seventh Day Adventist Hospital, etc.

Yet the Christian population is largely poverty-stricken as a very large number of them are involved in menial works.

In my view, efforts must be made to ensure increased representation of members of this community in bureaucracy, armed forces, police departments, legislatures, etc, in order to give a big boost to this community that deserves to be elevated in all the social, economic and political spheres of the country.

The government in particular needs to promote better conditions for Christians through education, healthcare and employment. The empowerment of Christian community will certainly transform the Pakistani society.

Shahid Akhund (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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