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PM Sharif congratulates Christian community's Moazzam James on his promotion to rank of major general

'Major General James’s professional capabilities and his hard work and passion had been a beacon of guidance for the young generation,' Sharif said.
Last Updated : 08 July 2024, 16:58 IST

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Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday congratulated Christian community's Julian Moazzam James on his promotion to the rank of major general in the Pakistan Army - the first non-Muslim in the elite Special Services Group commandos to become a two-star General in the Muslim-majority country.

James comes from the impoverished and often under-represented Christian community and he was among 22 brigadiers promoted to the rank of major-general last week.

"Major General James’s professional capabilities and his hard work and passion had been a beacon of guidance for the young generation,” Sharif said.

The prime minister further said that the contributions of the Christian community to the progress, prosperity and defence of the country were unforgettable.

Mushahid Hussain Sayed, a former senator and head of Pakistan-China Institute and Pakistan-Africa Institute for Development & Research, hailed James for becoming the first non-Muslim in the military's Special Services Group to attain the rank of a two-star general.

Last month, Dr. Helen Mary Roberts, serving in the Pakistan Army Medical Corps, made history by becoming the first woman from Christian and minority community to achieve the rank of brigadier in the Muslim-majority country.

Before James’ promotion as major general, Julian Peter and Noel Israel rose from their community to the rank of major generals in the Pakistan Army. Peter died in 2023 while Israel is currently serving as Pakistan's ambassador to Ukraine.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics in 2021, there are 96.47 per cent Muslims in the country, followed by 2.14 per cent Hindus, 1.27 per cent Christians, 0.09 per cent Ahmadi Muslims and 0.02 per cent others.

The minorities are often at the receiving end due to violence by extremist groups.

However, officially Pakistan leaders have been trying to mainstream them and Army chief General Asim Munir last year attended Christmas celebrations at Christ Church in Rawalpindi and commended the role of Christian community in the development of the country.

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Published 08 July 2024, 16:58 IST

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