Pakistan’s Army Chief hosted a banquet dinner in honor of Pakistan’s top clergymen, on Friday August 17. Inter-Services Public Relations stated that Cardinal Joseph Coutts was among the guests.
The Inter-Services Public Relations statement said that the dignitaries present on the occasion included Reverend Humphrey Sarfraz Peter , Archbishop of Lahore Sebastian Francis Shaw, Archbishop of Rawalpindi/Islamabad Joseph Arshad, Bishop Benny Marlo Travas and Father Sohail Patrick.
Other churchmen who represented Church of Pakistan included, Reverend Irfan Jamil, Reverend Roderick, Leo Paul, Reverend John Samuel, Reverend Alvin Samuel, Bishop Manoo Romal Shah, Reverend Maqsood Kamil and Reverend Nadeem Kamil. At the same time, Senator Brig. (Rtd.) John Kenneth Williams and few serving and retired Christian Army officers were also present.
ISPR detailed that General Bajwa lauded the role of Pakistan’s Christian community in national progress. COAS acknowledged the contributions of Christians in Pakistan, especially in the fields of education and health. He admired the philanthropic services extended by Pakistani Christians. COAS also lauded the role of Christians in the Armed Forces, making special mention of their services for their homeland.
General Bajwa said that it a national honor that Archbishop Joseph Coutts was raised to the rank of a cardinal. He expressed respect for the Christian community and said that there is a greater need to cultivate interfaith harmony in the country so that Jinnah’s vision could be fulfilled.
On this occasion Cardinal Joseph Coutts and Reverend Humphrey Peter said that Army Chief’s gesture will encourage the minorities in Pakistan. They appreciated the COAS, as they reiterated their resolve to play their role in country’s development and progress.