NEW YORKPakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Munir Akram, has greeted the U.N. and Pakistani community members on the Christmas Day as well as the birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah which was celebrated on Friday.
“This Christmas has come at the end of a difficult year for all humanity,” he said in a message released in New York.
“While we celebrate in this festive season, we must be thankful for the Almighty’s beneficence and be kind and generous to those who are grieving and suffering amongst us.”
Paying tributes to Pakistan’s founding father, Ambassador Akram said, “His integrity, commitment and vision inspired a nation to wage a peaceful struggle to gain independence from colonial rule and communal domination.”
The Quaid, he said, single-handedly reshaped the map of South Asia and transformed the dream of an independent homeland for the Muslims of the sub-continent into the tangible reality.
“On his 144th birth anniversary, all Pakistanis, at home and abroad, must live up to his call for unity, faith and discipline and renew the collective commitment to realize the Quaid’s purpose of making Pakistan a progressive, advanced and welfare state which guarantees a secure future for all its citizens and protects the rights of the weak and vulnerable in Pakistan and of those who are oppressed in any part of the world.”
Meanwhile, in a write-up carried by PassBlue, a publication devoted to the coverage of UN activities, Elizabeth Colton, a former US diplomat who served in Pakistan several years ago spoke about her pleasant experiences celebrating Christmas in that Muslim country.
“Pakistan is where I’ve had some of my favourite Christmases,” she wrote. “Founded as a Muslim state by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the nation honours his birthday on Dec. 25 as a national holiday. ‘Merry Christmas & Greetings on Quaid-i-Azam Day’ were frequent email greetings I received when I lived there as a diplomat’.”
As press attache and spokesperson at the US Embassy in Islamabad, Ms. Colton said, “I enjoyed Christmas days in both 2006 and 2007 over special Pakistani dinners with good journalist and architect friends”.
“Sadly, though, the once-happy memory of the 2007 Christmas and Jinnah birthday holiday was horrifically tarnished by a tragedy two days later — the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister and a friend, Benazir Bhutto, on Dec. 27 in nearby Rawalpindi.”