ADDRESS OF PAUL VI
TO THE NEW AMBASSADOR OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC
OF PAKISTAN TO THE HOLY SEE*
Saturday, 9 September 1972
It is our great pleasure to welcome you and to receive the Letters of Credence accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the Holy See. We appreciate very much the friendly greetings you bring from the President and people of your country, as well as the good wishes you have yourself extended to us. These sentiments of respect and goodwill have a special significance for us because, since the foundation of the Republic of Pakistan, our relations have always been most cordial. It is this that has made it possible for us to take a special interest in the welfare of your country and, as you have so kindly said, to make some contribution to it. As our mission demands of us a spiritual commitment to meet in every way we can the needs of mankind, we assure you of our continued regard and concern.
You have spoken of the struggle in Pakistan to achieve a better way of life and of the desire of its people to be at peace. We would like to take this occasion to compliment your Government on the great efforts being made to build up your economy, especially through the harnessing of natural resources so as to increase the return from the land. We encourage too the efforts of Pakistan to establish lasting peace on the subcontinent and have learned with satisfaction of the recent agreements arrived at in this regard. Greater political stability can only facilitate the arduous task of bettering the conditions of life within the country. We would also like you to know that the Church recognises the riches of the Islamic faith -a faith that binds us to the one God. How could we be indifferent to the fact that the Islamic religion is tolerant of other religious communities in your country? It is indeed by virtue of that tolerance that the Catholic Church has been able to work there and that Catholics in Pakistan are numbered among those most dedicated to the life of the nation. Because of the same tradition of Islam, we believe that the people of Pakistan will retain their deep concern for the spiritual quality of human living.
May we ask you to accept the warmest reciprocation of the greetings from your President, Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and your Government. Upon them and the beloved people of Pakistan we invoke from Almighty God the favours of his providence, his guidance and peace.
To you, Mr Ambassador, we extend our very best wishes for the happy accomplishment of your mission.
*AAS 64 (1972), p.598-599;
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. X, p.866-867;
L’Attività della Santa Sede 1972, p.314-315;
OR 10.9.1872, p.1;
ORa n.38 p.2.
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