As Pakistan celebrates defense day, Arch Diocese of Karachi in collaboration with the American Cultural Center (PACC) organized an event in order to pay homage to the Christian brave hearts that had played a vital role in defending their homeland. For this purpose a day was dedicated to “Christian martyrs” so s to pay them honor and tribute as well as express thanks to their families.
Pakistani Christians, recruited in the Army, Air Force and Navy have been always serving their country with valor. Addressing those present the Archbishop of Karachi, Cardinal Joseph Coutts said: “In our Saint Anthony School in Lahore, when I was a student, army instructors came to train and encourage many Muslim and Christian friends to join the Pakistani army. At the time there was unity and mutual acceptance in society, without any discrimination of caste, creed and ethnicity”.
During his address, Cardinal Joseph Coutts made special mention of war-veteran Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry, a Pakistani Christian who participated in 1965 and 1971 wars. He was an Air Force officer who accomplished incredible missions for his country during war times. Government of Pakistan awarded him with military honors in acknowledgment of his bravery. Cardinal Coutts said that even after his retirement from Air Force, he served his country as an educationist. He took charge of the St. Anthony’s High School in Lahore, as Head Master.
Speaking to those present, Father Qaisar Feroz OFM Cap, Executive Secretary of the Catholic Commission for Social Communications of the Catholic Episcopal Conference, said: “Let us remember the sacrifices of our Christian martyrs and pay homage to them. As Christians we are full of patriotism and love for Pakistan: therefore we urge everyone to work to promote peace and harmony in the country”.
The audience was informed about more than fifty Pakistani Christian military men, who had served in Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force or Pakistan Navy. On this occasion, the chief guest Brigadier Muhammad Mukhtiyar, paid rich tribute to non-Muslim Pakistanis; acknowledging their efforts for defending Pakistan. He also appreciated the Non-Muslim civilians who had helped Armed Forces, in fighting terrorism. “Many times during our military missions, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs contributed to achieving our goals and fought with our opponents,” he said.