Govt to invite Pope Francis to visit Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan will extend an invitation to Pope Francis – 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church – 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 would call on the Pope in February.

Kamran Michael held a meeting with Archbishop Ghaleb Bader on Saturday. He said that the Pope ordains 13 new priests including one from Pakistan. The Pope was scheduled to visit India and other Asian countries in March, he said.

The minister said that the delegation would deliver Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s invitation to the Pope. He said that 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 Zarb-e-Azb military operation and that investors’ interest in the country had increased. He expressed his happiness at the improved law and order situation in Pakistan.

He said that the incidents of violence against religious minorities had also decreased. He said that the Pope would be happy to visit Pakistan. He also lauded Pakistan’s efforts for global peace.

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