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Friday Mar 15 2019
Web Desk

PM Imran condemns New Zealand attack, says terrorism does not have a religion

Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday condemned the "terrorist attack" on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in which at least 49 people were killed and 20 more were seriously injured. 

"Shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques. This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families," he tweeted.

"I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam and 1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim. This has been done deliberately to also demonize legitimate Muslim political struggles," PM Imran added.

President Arif Alvi also tweeted and said, "Shocked and grieved to learn about the horrific massacre in Christchurch Mosque. My prayers for the victims. May their souls rest in peace. My condolences to the families. I pray they have strength to bear this loss. Hate, once unleashed is difficult to stop. Difficult times."

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi strongly condemned the heinous mosque attacks. "My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved and their families. We are trying to ascertain whether any Pakistanis have been killed in the attack. Terrorism has no religion and a terrorist no country."

Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal also tweeted and said, "Pakistan condemns the tragic terrorist incident in New Zealand. Our High Commission is in touch with the local authorities and trying to ascertain details." 

"Syed Moazzam Shah, Minister Political, Pakistan High Commission in New Zealand, Cell +64 21 779 495 is our focal point. Media queries however may be directed to Spokesperson in Islamabad," he added.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry expressed shock and grief over the shootings and said, "Hearts and soul of people of Pakistan are with people of New Zealand. Bangladesh Cricket Team escaped the attack; Pakistan suffered same situation years back and can feel n relate to the pain and misery."

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari termed the Christchurch mosques attack as a barbaric, violent act of terrorism. 

"Condemn in the strongest possible terms, the barbaric, violent act of terrorism at a mosque in Christchurch New Zealand. Unfortunate rise in white supremacist and Islamaphobic attacks. Thoughts and prayers with the victims and people of New Zealand," he wrote.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Siraj-ul-Haq also condemned the attack.  

"Strongly condemn the attack on mosques in New Zealand during Friday prayers. May Allah bless the departed souls and help the families of the victims. Its a terrorist attack and it explains that Muslims are target of Islamophobia and racism," he posted on Twitter.

PML-N president and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif condemned the terrorist attack in New Zealand. "Shocked at the massacre of innocent people in a New Zealand Mosque. I express my condolences and sympathies with breaved families, government and the people of New Zealand."

A gunman opened fire on Friday prayers at a mosque in New Zealand killing many worshippers and wounding more than 20 during Friday prayers at two New Zealand mosques in the country’s worst ever mass shooting.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said 49 people had been killed at two mosques and one man in his late 20s charged with murder.

Witnesses told media that a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle had started randomly shooting people in the Al Noor mosque.