Pakistani Christian Leaders Condemn the Terrorist Attack on a Mosque 


Along with other Pakistani political and religious leaders, Moderator of Church of Pakistan Bishop Dr. Azad Marshall condemned the attack on a mosque in Peshawar city, Pakistan, on 4 March.

Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, is about 800 kilometers from the Afghanistan board. Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, there is a series of terrorist attacks in the broader areas of Pakistan. Just a day ago a polio worker was shot dead in the same city.

A suicide bomber attack on a Shia mosque in Kocha Risaldar, Peshawar, when hundreds of worshippers were congregated for the Friday prayer. Dawn, an English daily newspaper in Pakistan, reported that at least 56 worshipers were killed, and more than 194 were injured. The Injured were shifted to Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital. Some were still in critical condition.

Head of the second biggest mainline church in Pakistan, Bishop Marshall said in a tweet, “Today, I am deeply grieved over a suicide terror attack, and jointly with our Muslim brothers strongly condemned this heinous terrorist attack and extend our deepest support to the bereaved families.” He lamented the loss of lives in the attack.

CCTV footage shows that a lone attacker reached the mosque on foot. After reaching the mosque, he fired on police personnel outside the main entrance who were providing security to the workshop. A man tried to stop him, but he opened fire on him, entered the mosque, and then blew himself up.

According to Daily Times, the bishop acknowledged the role of the security forces in fighting the scourge of terrorism, but he urged the government to “do more to protect all people in Pakistan, whether Christian, Muslims, or of any other religion or belief.”

Sarfraz Clement, a Christian political leader from Multan said that the terrorists want to create disharmony among religious communities in the country, but Pakistani people are united against the present wave of terrorism. He showed solidarity with the diseased families and requested Christians to help their Muslim brothers in this time of grief.

On 30 January in Peshawar, in broad daylight, some unknown gunmen shot two priests of the Church of Pakistan and killed Reverend William Siraj on the spot while wounded the other cleric. The police have failed to arrest the culprits yet. During his visit just days ago, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, head of the Anglican Church condemned the attack.

In the last major attack on 10 July 2018, a suicide bomber attacked a political worker’s rally of Awami National Pakistan in Peshawar. The targeted attack left 22 people dead and wounded 75 others. Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.

The deadliest attack was in 2014. Nine Taliban gunmen attacked the Army Public School where they killed more than 140 people, including many children.

In another deadliest attack on 22 September 2013, two suicide bombers from a Taliban faction attacked All Saints Church of Pakistan in Peshawar. About 127 Christians were killed, and more than 250 worshippers were injured.

President Dr. Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan both strongly condemned the incident and expressed grief over the lives lost. PM Khan said that the government had all information regarding the terrorist attack. “The state is going after the culprits with full force.”

 


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Aftab Alexander Mughal

Aftab Alexander Mughal is the editor of Minority Concern Pakistan (UK), and a former Executive Secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission of Pakistan. In 2013, he won 'International Award for Women's Issues' by ICOM, Geneva.   He can be reached via: aftabmughal47@hotmail.com