Christmas Spirit: Imran Khan urged to reschedule Karachi rally

Published: November 24, 2011
Human rights organization requests Imran Khan to change date of Karachi rally as it clashes with Christmas.

Human rights organization requests Imran Khan to change date of Karachi rally as it clashes with Christmas.

LAHORE: A rights organisation has asked Imran Khan to reschedule Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) rally in Karachi on December 25 so as not to disturb Christmas celebrations.

The Centre for Human Rights Education Pakistan wrote to the PTI chief stating that by holding a rally on December 25, he would deprive his Christian supporters of the chance to participate.

The letter said that large gatherings would disturb the festivities. “It is also likely to deprive the Christians of the chance to participate in the political process,” it said. “Since PTI is being seen as an emerging mainstream party, it should consider and recognise the multireligious, multiethnic and multilinguistic nature of Pakistani society.” The letter said changing the date of the rally would send a positive message to religious minorities. “PTI should also announce its policy … to arrest discrimination and persecution of minorities”, said the Centre’s letter.


Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (73)

  • Mohd Ali
    Nov 24, 2011 - 9:36PM

    why, are our christian brothers planning on celebrating at the Mazar?


  • Asmat Peter
    Nov 24, 2011 - 9:41PM

    Although I am in Lahore but I agree with the fact that such rallies hinder our religious festivities. Khan should respect minorities.


  • Amir Ali
    Nov 24, 2011 - 9:54PM

    Even the christians are now criticizing IK for no reason,Recommend

  • Nov 24, 2011 - 9:58PM

    How naive can a human rights organisation really get? The date also happens to be the birthday of the Father of the Nation as well, and it to honour his vision of Pakistan that the rally is being scheduled on this day.

    I consider the reasons stated for rescheduling the date to be lame.


  • Effendi
    Nov 24, 2011 - 9:58PM

    Insensitive right winger.


  • Kamran
    Nov 24, 2011 - 10:03PM

    What about the religious celebrations that hinder normal days? Muharram, Eid Milan etc? 25th Dec has been chosen because it’s Quaid’s birth anniversary.


  • abdul jabbar
    Nov 24, 2011 - 10:05PM

    why didn’t PTI hold a rally on Eid day?


  • Nov 24, 2011 - 10:06PM

    I could be wrong, but I believe the main reason they’re holding the rally on the 25th of December is because it coincides with Quaid-e-Azam’s birthday.

    Surprised no one has raised that fact, as it’s not mentioned in this article, nor in any earlier articles. Wonder if anyone from PTI has raised this fact or not, or are too themselves unaware and just coincidentally held it on that date?


  • Falcon
    Nov 24, 2011 - 10:08PM

    I can understand how it can be potentially inconvenient for our Christian brethren. However, 25th is also Jinnah’s birthday and PTI is using that as a symbol to conduct this rally. I think because of that, they might not be able to postpone or pre-pone the rally. However, a statement should be issued acknowledging the concern and how the sacrifice of inconvenience by our Christian brethren would be remembered by the nation.


  • khaleeq ur rehman
    Nov 24, 2011 - 10:09PM

    well, i, being a ik supporter,,, i should recomend 24 december and we can celebrate on night of 25th…..


  • Imran Mohammad
    Nov 24, 2011 - 10:10PM

    There is no better way, to celebrate the birth of two great personalities of their times, than to mobilize the public against unjust and corrupt system that continues to suck the blood out of innocents irrespective of race,caste,color and religious beliefs. I have no doubt Jesus will approve this!!!

    Best wishes and a very happy and blessed Christmas season to my christian brothers and sisters !!!!


  • Nov 24, 2011 - 10:16PM

    It is our Quaid’s Birthday and the rally is about bringing all people together from all sects, religion and ethnicity. So, please take it positively. Christians are our brothers and sisters and we invite them all to the rally and respect them.


  • Fab
    Nov 24, 2011 - 10:19PM

    I really dont understand how it can hinder the celebration of christmas?


  • Usman Lakhani
    Nov 24, 2011 - 10:19PM

    talk about blowing things out of proportion…


  • Nov 24, 2011 - 10:20PM

    yes it should be.PTI should look into.


  • Donna Khan
    Nov 24, 2011 - 11:23PM

    I think he should respect all faith of people and have his rally a next day.It’s christmas an pakistan in a mixture of all faith of people we need unity amount everyone .Merry Christmas .


  • Nov 24, 2011 - 11:27PM

    You shouldnt keep an event on a day when a greater event is already there before you. Its a simple matter of etiquette.


  • MarkH
    Nov 24, 2011 - 11:31PM

    @Mohd Ali:
    You really don’t get it at all do you? You want change but there’s obviously no room for it in your head.
    @Amir Ali:
    Don’t use that one for this situation or you’re going to really make PTI look foolish.


  • Proud Christian
    Nov 24, 2011 - 11:33PM

    We would come to IK rally even if its on Christian. Lord Jesus has sent IK as a messiah.


  • Faraz
    Nov 24, 2011 - 11:44PM

    @Proud Christian: Thank you for saying that.


  • Syed Fakhir
    Nov 24, 2011 - 11:54PM

    Yeah! if it is going to effect Christmas, then the date must be changed. But someone should ask all church organization if what do they suggest if its ok to have Galsa on 25th or not and then consider their recommendations.


  • Arsalan
    Nov 24, 2011 - 11:58PM

    There is a valid point here which should be given thought and consideration by the PTI. Let us not be reactionist here, and show some maturity of thought. A few things could be done:

    The transportation team could plan routes in such a way that access to any Christian areas of worship/residence is not hampered
    Leaders from the Christian community could also be invited to participate in, and speak at the rally. After all, the core aim of the rally is to bring people of all backgrounds together.
    Imran Khan/other senior leaders could acknowledge the fact that it is Christmas, and send felicitations to our Christian brethren. I think that would have a really positive effect as it would increase recognition and respect for the Christian faith in Pakistan
    Earlier on in the day, PTI leaders could meet with leadership from the Christian community in a show of understanding and solidarity

    Finally, I think the statement from the CHRE is also a little harsh. Holding of the rally on the 25th is not intended to deny the existence of millions of Pakistani Christians. It just so happens that Jinnah’s birthday coincides with the occasion . Regardless, the PTI should show maturity here, give the matter appropriate thought, and consult with leadership from the Christian community. Indeed, that is what one hopes sets PTI apart from the other parties. Young, sensible Pakistanis wish to see a Pakistan where there is mutual respect for all the faiths present in our country.


  • Tanveer Saleem
    Nov 25, 2011 - 12:35AM

    Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, (PTA) alleged ban on the words ‘Jesus Christ’
    No one as Pakistani christian will accept it, Pakistani christian are already suffering lot, PTA want to add some thing more, BUT we will let them do this, the Name of Jesus will lifted high and higher in Pakistan by the grace of God, all His people say………………… Amen,


  • Ali Abul Hassan
    Nov 25, 2011 - 12:51AM

    I never understand why the hell “the mentality of Indian” has started affecting our thoughts…? We Pakistanis reflect positivity and are always respectful to others’ feelings… 25 December, is a Christmas day but at the same time is related to the Founder of Pakistan… Neither Christmas nor The Birth of Baba-e-Qaum are the events of mourning then where the questions comes for delaying or postponing the JALSA in Karachi. Holding a JALSA at Mazzar-e-Quaid, on his B’day will heavily influence the shattered and divided Pakistanis emotionally and will make them think unite again Insha-Allah…!
    Christians too, will attend the JALSA of PTI and will prove themselves to be true Pakistani ( I hope so )…

    Pakistan Zindabad…!


  • Nov 25, 2011 - 1:25AM

    i guess PTI should go ahead for the rally . I do not want cancel them this rally for political reasons. LRecommend

  • usman
    Nov 25, 2011 - 2:41AM

    I live here in Atlanta and have to go to the University even on Eid, come big or small. No holiday for us, forget about any important event being hindered by Eid. That is just a frivolous reason anyways. I could not understand the reason behind this letter.


  • smssr84
    Nov 25, 2011 - 3:11AM

    its a tricky matter. but I think everyone should have the liberty to choose!… I think Christian Brothers & Sisters should be given a choice how they want to celebrate their Christmas and not any Human right organization… that to from Lahore!! (hmm I wonder why didnt the Karachi office said anything about it? :s). PTI gave this date coz of Quaid-e-Azam’s B’day!…. aur Quaid-e-Azam sab keh hain!…. so Pakistanis should choose… whoever they are!


  • smssr84
    Nov 25, 2011 - 3:16AM

    Plus they should look at this way that the whole Pakistan will celebrate it with them. they wont be in “minority” but the majority!… and I am sure PTI will do something special for them… like they did on Diwali!
    so plz be positive… these are changing moments of Pakistan!…. lets celebrate them together!… your Christmas at Mizar-e-Quaid will be one to remember always!…. InshaAllah!!


  • Truth From Pakistan
    Nov 25, 2011 - 3:38AM

    The rally should go on on its scheduled date ! The Christmas celebrations can be planned accordingly as there is ample time for people to do so. For Muslims living as citizens in non Muslim countries for years, no country matter whether political or non political is altered for them and it is taken in a good spirit. The rally should not offend our Christian fellows as this is the time every single Pakistani MUST contribute in their own ways to support the CHANGE regardless of cast, color, creed or faith !


  • Usman
    Nov 25, 2011 - 4:03AM

    By the time the rally starts, Christmas fesitivites are approaching their end so all our Christian brothers can attend if they wish


  • Ch Allah Daad
    Nov 25, 2011 - 4:04AM

    I can bet, arrogant workers of PTI will show no respect.. Main reason of holding rally at Mizar-e-Quaid and on Quaid’s birthday is that thousands of people visit Mazar on that day. PTI, which has no support in Karachi, want to count those visitors as its participants. If Imran is so desperate for crowds, then he should hold a rally on 10th of Moharram.


  • Donna khan
    Nov 25, 2011 - 4:37AM

    What the hell people who are christians cannot say the word Jesus why ?Who made that stupid law .And who are u calling Indian what are u if ur not indian.


  • Steve German
    Nov 25, 2011 - 5:13AM

    This news is just a creation of ET’s own minds. Nothing as such has been requested form the christian community.ET some how tries to drag minorities in to every other issue for no reason. Oh ya maybe to please their masters financing them.


  • khan
    Nov 25, 2011 - 5:20AM

    express news making an issue


  • Saad
    Nov 25, 2011 - 6:16AM

    I don’t see how the rally would disturb the celebrations but I do agree with their second point, that PTI’s christian supporters will be deprived of the chance to participate.


  • babar
    Nov 25, 2011 - 8:06AM

    khan is a messiah in these doomed days for people of pakistan !!


  • Ayaz Munir
    Nov 25, 2011 - 8:29AM

    25th December is the date of Birth of our Founder, the Implausible Quaid-e-Azam, If you actually need to make Quaid-e-Azam happy on his birthday , than Mr.Khan , do change the date of the rally because Quaid-e-Azams whole struggle for Pakistan was based on “Religious equality” , so he would be mopre happy to see Christains celebrating the Christamas rather than coming to his Tomb .
    Pakistan Zindbad( Whether Muslim or Non-Muslim)


  • Adeel Ahmed
    Nov 25, 2011 - 9:18AM

    If there is a occasion of mourning to Christians then there is a matter of respect but it is occasion of happiness then what happen if rally exist. It is sure that they will not be disturbed, Yes, if they want to participate then their is atricky situation for them.


  • smarti
    Nov 25, 2011 - 10:14AM

    I know ! Khan Will change the date because he respects all religions !


    Nov 25, 2011 - 10:22AM

    So what, ask all our Christian brothers to come to Maza-e-Quaid. I am sure Sahzad Roy, Shahzman, Noori, String will be their. Also call Brain Adams for a special appearance. What else they want on 25th ???


  • MAD
    Nov 25, 2011 - 10:46AM

    @Ch Allah Daad:

    you’re not from karachi now are you? Im not a Christain but even i know that most Christmas religious festivities start at midnight and are usually ocver by midday. After that its time to celebrate. So lets celebrate .


  • Someone
    Nov 25, 2011 - 10:58AM

    Should make it the night of 24th Dec.


  • Bilal
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:03AM

    Musharraf has far better chances in Karachi than Imran khan.


  • Pakistani first
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:06AM

    I study in Canada and had two midterms on Bakra Eid. Life goes on and you cannot control everything. Beside from what I know(I might be wrong) Christmas is celebrated by attending Church in the morning and then spending the rest of the day with family and relatives. The Christian community can certainly do that as the jalsa would probably be in the evening.


  • Infallible
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:32AM

    I ask this simple question to all my Muslim friends that would it be ok for them to have the jalsa on Eid??
    I bet you would say No.. and not respecting minorities rights is nothing new in here.. I can see only a small percentage of people who respect the religious believes of others.. while the rest are busy in giving out the message that Pakistan belongs to them only..

    I’m a proud Christian and a supporter of Tehrik e Insaf, and my main reason for support is that I hope it’ll bring good to the nation.. Not too hopeful about the condition of minorities though..


  • All BS
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:49AM

    We will celebrate with our Christian brothers and sisters at the Mazar e Quaid on 25 December and offer our prayers for fullfilment of Quaids dream


  • Josef Malik
    Nov 25, 2011 - 12:17PM

    We have no problem at all. Imran should carry on this to fulfill our dreams.


  • Arif Aziz
    Nov 25, 2011 - 12:41PM

    I suggest chritisan bros & sis. to celebrate their festival at MAZA e QUAID on dec.25.Recommend

  • vasco rodrigues
    Nov 25, 2011 - 12:46PM

    The best support the minorities can render Imran Khan is their prayers at churches for christmas services. They dont have to be physically present at the Jalsa as long as they are there in spirit. Traditionally christmas is spent with family and loved ones starting from 24th Dec to 1st week of the New Year, If there has to emerge a party (a new Leader) to move the country forward and ensure that history will not repeat itself (Burning of places of workship ethnic violence etc. The SHOW MUST GO ON. we will be in solidarity . I fervently will pray that ALMIIGHTY GOD will inspire the true leader to recreate the true Pakistan as envisioned by the QUAID-E-AZAM. LONG LIVE PAKISTAN-



  • farhan
    Nov 25, 2011 - 1:48PM

    Xmas or eid…don’t stop, just go for it. Our nation needs to come together.l suggest our brothers and sisters go to mass and reconvene at the jalsa. It will give us a chance to celebrate with you. Merry Christmas.


  • Imran Khan
    Nov 25, 2011 - 2:57PM

    This organization wants another public holiday in Karachi… so that the businesses, schools, offices shut down for no reason. The 25th Dec is already a public holiday… do anything you like on that day and get back to work…..


  • xOYA
    Nov 25, 2011 - 2:58PM

    Please no rallies on Christmas Day .Even if the rally is at mazar e Quaid which means Roads blocked ,traffic jams. Why should the Christains face Difficulty on their EID day .
    Would WE Muslims have allowed a rally on EID day ????
    So Imran Khan kindly have your rally after NEW Year lets Others Clebrate their Christmas & NewYear In Peace .Thank You


  • Samson Simon Sharaf
    Nov 25, 2011 - 4:38PM

    Most Christians Celebrate the Midnight Christmas Mass on Night 24/25 December. Most Christmas gatherings and Choir singing are held during the Advent Week.

    As a CEC member and also a Spokesperson, I discussed Javed Michael, Arsalan Zia William and other Christian friends.It was our considered opinion that the National and symbolic significance of 25th Dec only gets strengthened by the Christmas. It will be a great boost to the party inclusivity and pluralism if we hold this function on 25th. I am sure the jalsa will add colour to the Christmas festivities. Remember, it is a declared day of National Integration.

    Brigadier Samson Simon Sharaf (Retired)


  • Serenity
    Nov 25, 2011 - 4:42PM

    Just wonder had Benzair died on the 25th and not 27th of December? Would the PPP mourn on the xmas day?


  • itp
    Nov 25, 2011 - 5:11PM

    IK should consider shifting the jalsa on the 24th. More people will come in on a saturday night as compared to a sunday night. I mean who has heard of a concert on a Sunday Night?


  • Hashmi
    Nov 25, 2011 - 5:17PM

    I don’t know what people are up to? I talked to Brig. Samson (PTI CEC member) today in the morning and he has commented here as well. He said that the Christian community has no problem with PTI holding a rally on 25th. They usually celebrate Christmas on the midnight of 24/25 Dec, The Midnight Mass.
    So therefore, they are OK with the PTI rally on 25th.
    Besides that their participation in the jalsa will certainly add color, dimension and a sense of national integrity to the gathering. So don’t worry folks!


  • Nov 25, 2011 - 5:29PM

    24th is the day where we Christians have spiritual obligations to attend Mass among other things. The 25th is left for having guests over and enjoying the over all spirit of Christmas with friends and family.

    I personally believe having a nation building exercise such as this Jalsa among my brothers and sisters at Christmas is a far better way of celebrating then at home with a plate of Biryani.


  • Saba
    Nov 25, 2011 - 9:32PM

    What better day to standup for truth and justice!! The prophets birthday will be a lucky day as it will be a loud voice promoting justice and bringing about peace and prosperity, stoping the human rights violation and the people’s sufferings in Pakistan!!!


  • moeed
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:13PM

    have u forgotten that 25 december is also the birthday of our dear and beloved quaid-e-azam so the jalsa is also important for that and i invite to my christian brothers and sisters to come to jalsa and be a part of change in pakistan


  • Younus
    Nov 26, 2011 - 5:30AM

    Congratulations! What a lucky day . . .not only it is the birthday of our beloved Jesus Christ (pbuh), but also the birthday of our beloved quaid-e-Azam. It looks like God’s plan!! Let our Christain and Muslim brothers celebrate this day together with one voice for peace and justice. this will be a very blessed and sacred day for alll!! May God shower his blessings and make this jalsa very successful on this day of miracles!! The nation will come together on Christmas. Merry Christmas!


  • mansour
    Nov 26, 2011 - 12:54PM

    I believe in all honesty PTI had decided on 25th December because of JInnah’s birthday. PTI is not malicious as to deliberately hold a rally on Christmas day to hurt the sentiments of the Christians. If PTI holds it on 24th, then people will make noise about disrupting traffic and creating problems. So either way, public will not be happy. Sunday is a better day because it’s a holiday and commuters will not be hurt. Its a double edged sword and in today’s time when Pakistan needs to be saved, I think it makes more sense to hold this rally on 25th Dec. to coincide with Jinnah’s birthday to give it a historical significance. As it is, Christians go to church on 24th evening and 25th morning, and rest of the day on 25th is spent with families and friends. Rally will probably be held in afternoon so in no way will disrupt those who want to go to church in the morning. :D


  • Samson Simon Sharaf
    Nov 26, 2011 - 5:11PM

    I was part of the decision making


  • Haris
    Nov 26, 2011 - 8:24PM

    I don’t think it will matter or hinder the celebrations of Christmas, it will more likely present as a chance for Pakistani Christians to take part in the jalsa. I don’t think the date should be changed as it is a historic day as it’s the Quaid’s birthday.


  • Nov 27, 2011 - 3:15AM

    We do respect all minorities living in PAKISTAN.. we welcome you all to celebrate with us on 25th during Jalsa…


  • aysha majeed
    Nov 27, 2011 - 4:36PM

    PTI knows, it cant pull it off in Karachi, smart move for face saving


  • EmbarassedPak
    Nov 28, 2011 - 11:55AM

    Yes IK should change the date, as Nawaz Sharif will miss the jalsa too as his birthday falls on the same day.


  • Haris
    Nov 28, 2011 - 7:16PM

    The main christmas celebrations take place at midnight n after… the start of the jalsa there would be tym for ppl to become a part of the jalsa….


  • ali
    Nov 29, 2011 - 9:21AM

    @abdul jabbar:
    becouse QUAID-e AZAM was not born on Eid day very simple Ans !!


  • rizwan
    Nov 30, 2011 - 8:01PM

    Muslims believe in Jesus (peace be upon him) as well and revere him greatly. Just like Jesus rose up against an unjust system, so this rally is aiming to do the same. Whether you’re Muslim or Christian there could be no better way to celebrate the life of Jesus than to step out of your homes for the sake of justice.


  • xOYA
    Dec 1, 2011 - 2:08PM

    Thanks Imran for ruining Christmas .
    you just cudnt have had it on another day .
    Our Christains friends are just not going to enjoy as the roads will be blocked etc etc , so no church & no visiting for those who live near Quaids mazar & on M a Jinnah road .
    This is our Politicians & this is Pakistan ,
    we are getting Selfish by the Second


  • xOYA
    Dec 1, 2011 - 2:11PM

    I am sure u all above who have commented wud realy love to have a rally on Eid & 10th Moharramm rite ???
    so Imran dont ruin Christmas please have ur rally on 10th Moharram or on next eid .
    they wud all JOIN u asap


  • Asad
    Dec 14, 2011 - 12:22AM

    @xOYA: Christians attend their Church on midnight Christmas (December 24 night). This Jalsa will happen in December 25 evening, so this Jalsa in no way will harm Christian celebrations and beliefs.


  • zeeshan
    Dec 14, 2011 - 12:40PM

    its just a propaganda and Our christian community is mature enough to not perk their ears on itRecommend

More in Pakistan