ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will extend an invitation to Pope Francis to visit Pakistan during his trip to Asia in March this year.
A delegation comprising Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousuf, Minister for Ports and Shipping Kamran Michael and parliamentarians from various religious minorities will call on the Pope in February.
Michael said this after his meeting with papal nuncio Archbishop Ghaleb Bader on Saturday. The Pope is scheduled to visit India and other Asian countries in March.
Michael said the delegation will deliver Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s invitation to the Pope. He said promoting inter-faith harmony and checking sectarianism was the top priority of the government. He said terror incidents had considerably decreased after the start of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and that investors’ interest in the country had increased.
The archbishop expressed his happiness at the improved law and order in the country. He said the incidents of violence against religious minorities had also decreased.
The papal nuncio said that the Pope will be happy to visit Pakistan. He also lauded Pakistan’s efforts for global peace.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2016.