Karachi - Numerous Pakistani citizens of Christian religion served the nation with honor and pride in the armed forces, giving the nation the gift of their life. Recalling their precious contribution, the Archdiocese of Karachi in collaboration with the Pakistan American Cultural Center has organized in recent days a day dedicated to "Christian martyrs" to pay them their well-deserved honor and to thank their families for their sacrifice in favor of their country of origin.
As Fides learns, 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, ethnicity". Cardinal Coutts mentioned, among others, Captain Cecil Chaudhry, a Catholic, who served in the Aviation of Pakistan and fought bravely in the wars of 1965 and 1971 and was engaged in a very risky air mission towards India, where he survived miraculously. After his retirement he was the head master of St. Anthony's High School in Lahore. Today his son Cecil Chaudhry jr works in the Pakistani Bishops "Justice and Peace" Commission and continues his efforts to promote legality, human rights and peace.
More than fifty Pakistani Christians who served in the army, in the navy and in the Pakistani aviation were mentioned on the Day of Commemoration. Among those present, Brigadier Mohammad Mukhtiar, principal guest, paid tribute to civilians and religious minorities in Pakistan for their efforts to help the Pakistani army fight with terrorist groups in Pakistan, recalling: "Many times during our military missions, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs contributed to achieving our goals and fought with our opponents".
Fr. 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". >>