RAWALPINDI, Pakistan - Army Chief General Asim Munir met with members of Pakistan's Christian community on Monday, emphasizing the importance of promoting interfaith harmony as part of Quaid-i-Azam's vision, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
According to an official statement released by the army's media wing, a 14-member Christian community delegation led by Dr Azad Marshall - Moderator, President Bishops (Church of Pakistan and Bishop of Raiwind) - met with the chief of army staff (COAS) at The General Headquarters (GHQ) Rawalpindi.
When discussing religious and inter-faith harmony, Gen Munir expressed deep respect for the Christian community and praised their contributions to national development, such as the promotion of quality education, healthcare, and philanthropic services, as well as their outstanding role in the defence of the motherland.
The COAS also emphasized the importance of promoting greater interfaith harmony in society to follow Quaid's true vision of a united and progressive Pakistan, according to an ISPR press release.
"Islam is a religion of peace, and there is no place in Islam or society for intolerance and extremism." In a civilized society, no one can take the law into his own hands," the army chief said.
Meanwhile, Christian community members praised the Pakistan Army's efforts to combat terrorism and provide a safe environment for the country's minorities.
The delegation praised the army chief's gesture as an inspiration for Pakistan's minorities to play a more significant and active role in nation-building and re-establishing their faith in a cohesive and tolerant society.
The meeting takes place in the aftermath of the "Jaranwala incident," in which a mob vandalized several churches and set scores of houses on fire in Jaranwala town, Faisalabad, after a few miscreants made announcements in mosques inciting the mob to attack the basis of blasphemy allegations.
The incident on August 16 sparked outrage on social media and among political and religious figures in the country, who unanimously condemned the incident, saying that such extreme behavior had no place in the country.