This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
16 December 2014 was without doubt one of the darkest days in Pakistan’s history. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the heartfelt condolences to everybody affected by last week’s horrific attack from HM Queen Elizabeth, the British Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary and staff at the British High Commission.
Earlier in the week, I attended a Christmas Dinner given by the President. He spoke movingly about the Peshawar attack and earlier attacks on the Christian community in that city and elsewhere. He underlined the Government’s determination to tackle terrorism and to defend Christians and other minorities across the country.
It will, of course, be hard for Pakistan’s five million Christians to mark Christmas with the traditional zeal and enthusiasm this year. But for those that are celebrating Christmas, on behalf of the British High Commission and the people of the United Kingdom, I would like to wish you and your loved ones ‘Bara Din Mubarak’.
Today also marks the birthday of Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Jinnah rallied all Pakistanis, of all religions, to follow the guiding principles which led to the creation of Pakistan: faith, discipline and unity. As we struggle to come to terms with the events of last week, we should continue to draw strength from, and act upon, Quaid-e-Azam’s important words.