RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa hosted a dinner in the honour of leading Christian clergy in Pakistan.
The dinner was attended, among others, by His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Coutts and Right Reverend Humphrey Sarfraz Peter.
The COAS regarded the appointment of Cardinal Coutts as a great national honour and a milestone towards fostering national harmony and accord. He lauded the contributions of Pakistani Christians in national development, including promotion of quality education, healthcare and philanthropic services, says a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations.
He made special mention of the outstanding role played by a number of minority members in the defence of the motherland. He expressed deep respect for the Christian community and highlighted the need for promoting greater interfaith harmony in society in order to march towards Quaid’s true vision of a united and progressive Pakistan.
In their notes of gratitude, Cardinal Coutts and Reverend Peter appreciated the army chief’s gesture as an inspiration for Pakistani minorities to take greater and more active part in nation building and in restoring their faith in a cohesive and tolerant society. They expressed their resolve to take steps for more positive role by the Christian community towards national development and progress.
Other dignitaries present on the occasion included Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, Archbishop Joseph Arshad, Bishop Benny Marlo Travas and Father Sohail Patrick.
Church of Pakistan was represented by Right Reverend Irfan Jamil, Right Reverend Roderick Leo Paul, Right Reverend John Samuel, Right Reverend Alvin Samuel, Bishop Manoo Romal Shah, Reverend Maqsood Kamil and Reverend Nadeem Kamil. Senator retired brigadier John Kenneth Williams, besides a few other retired and serving army officers from the Christian community also formed part of the gathering that ended in prayers for national unity and prosperity.
Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2018