Pakistani Clergymen have expressed appreciation towards foolproof security measures ensured by the security forces, during Easter. Leaders from mainstream churches assembled during a press conference held under the banner of Council for Interfaith Dialogue and Ecumenical Solidarity Committee. The expressed gratitude towards the security forces for their persistent efforts to ensure security during Easter.
This press conference was presided by Bishop Samuel Azariah, Moderator Church of Pakistan, Raiwind Diocese. While addressing the attendees, Father Francis Nadeem OFM Cap detailed the purpose of holding the press conference. Father Nadeem thanked Inspector General of Punjab police Captain Muhammad Usman Khatak , CCPO Lahore Captain Muhammad Ameen Wains, DPO,s and SHO,s who had strived to ensure fail-safe security measures at all the churches, parks and other public places during Easter.
The clergymen while addressing the press conference appreciated the administration of the Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for maintaining peace during Easter celebrations in the country. They admired the role of military for their continued efforts to maintain peace in the country. At this occasion, Bishop Samuel Azariah led a prayer service, beseeching God for peace and harmony in Pakistan.
During his address, Father Francis Nadeem voiced his concerns saying.as compared to the Islamic festivals saying that during the Islamic festivals electricity is supplied uninterruptedly but throughout the Holy Week the duration of load shedding was longer than usual.
He said that majority of Christians were not able to attend churches on Good Friday, as they were not given a public holiday- despite the fact that Good Friday is an important day for Christians. He urged the government to make sure that a public holiday is announced for Christians on the occasion of Good Fridays every year. Government and security forces must maintain same security level during every religious festival of Christians as it was maintained this time round.
Other clergymen who attended this press conference included: Reverend Father Inayat Bernard (Secretary ECSL), Reverend Father Samson Dilawar, Reverend Shahid P. Mehraj, Reverend Emmanuel Khokher, Reverend Saleem Khokher, Reverend Amjad Niamat, Reverend Edgar Irfan, Reverend Aamir Sunil, Nauman Rauf, Reverend Hanook Haq, Reverend Robin Qamar, Reverend Amir Naveed, Rev.erend Shahzada Khurram and Reverend Irshad Ashknaz.