MIRANSHAH: Like other parts of the country, Christian community also gathered at a hall in civil colony area of the North Waziristan tribal district to celebrate Christmas on Tuesday.
It was the second time, after successful Zarb-e-Azam operation, the Christians community celebrated the day with religious fervor and zeal in the tribal district. The deputy commissioner and other officials of local administration visited the venue to participate in celebrations.
However, the Christians complained that though they have been allotted a hall, but so far they have no Church in the North Waziristan and asked the government to help them in constructing a Church. “We have a complete freedom of religious practices in the district,” said Aimail Well Christian elder while talking with TNN, a resident of Miranshah “We are celebrating our religious and cultural festivals regularly.” He added that they have an empty place available right outside their homes, where they can construct Church, if the government provides them support.
He said that they have talkedwith the district administration officials , who have assured the Christians community, that soon, a church will be constructed in the area.
Besides the elders, the children also gathered at the hall to celebrate the day. “We are celebrating today as it is our holy day,” said John, a youngster who was at the hall with other children and parents to as part of celebrations. John along with the children also chanted the slogans of Pakistan Zindabad to express their love for Pakistan.
Khalid Iqbal, another resident of North Waziristan, said that after the successful Zarba-e-Azab operations against militants in Waziristan, this is the second time, that they have gathered at hall to celebrate the Day. Iqbal thanks the district administration for providing all support. Iqbal, who is also a social worker, said that administration has promised that Church for the Christians and Temple of the Hindu minorities will be established soon.
“Christians are like other people of this country,” said an official of the district administration. “We always remain in communication with them to extend whatever help they needed.” The official added that there is a complete freedom for everyone to observe religious and cultural practices.
Christmas was celebrated in Parachinar, where Naseem Welfare trust visited the Christians homes and distributed gifts. Yousaf Lala, founder of the Yousaf welfare trust while addressing the gathering said that Christians are an important part of the area like other people and have the right to celebrate their religious festivals with zeal.
Riaz Masih, a Christian elder while addressing the gathering appreciated the love of tribal people for religious minorities. “We are completely free to observe our religious festivals in Kuram,” said Riaz. He added that the day of Christmas has a message of love and peace for entire humanity.
The Christmas celebrations were also held in Landikotal, where federal minister for religious affairs Alama Noorul Haq Qaudri was the chief guest. Assistant commissioner Muhammad Irfan and a huge number of Christian community members participated. The Minister has cut the cake.
He distributed Cheques of Rs 5000 among 50 Christians on this occasion. The Minister also announced 500 pairs of shoes for deserving members of Christian community. “In Pakistan, the religious minorities have all the religious freedom and protection,” said the federal minister. He added that the problems faced by the religious minorities will be solved on priority bases.