Sunday Mar 17, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the Pakistan flag will remain half-mast at all national buildings on Monday to mourn the deaths of Pakistanis who were martyred in the New Zealand mosque attacks.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Qureshi said he had spoken to New Zealand foreign minister on phone on length, after 50 people, including nine Pakistanis, were shot dead by a 28-year-old right-wing extremist who attacked two mosques in Christchurch: the Al Noor Mosque, and another mosque in the suburb of Linwood.
“The assailant attacked the two mosques and the entire act continued for 36 minutes,” Qureshi informed.
He added that the identification of bodies was a complicated and difficult process. “All those martyred in the attack have been identified and from tomorrow the process of handing over the bodies to the relatives will start.”
Qureshi said the New Zealand foreign minister had informed him that an investigation into the gunman’s motives is under way.
“The Pakistan High Commission in New Zealand is making all efforts for the affected Pakistani families. The families of six of the martyred want to bury their dead in New Zealand, while three have expressed wish to bury their dead in Pakistan."
Qureshi further said that he has made contact with his Turkish counterpart and it has been decided to convene an emergency meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on March 22 in Istanbul.
“During the meeting, efforts will be made to unify the Ummah and devise a strategy to know the root causes of growing Islamophobia in the West and its implications for Muslims around the world," the foreign minister shared.
Moreover, Qureshi said he will leave for China tonight to attend Pak-China Strategic Dialogue to discuss issues of bilateral importance. “China has time and again proved that it is a sincere friend of Pakistan. More consultations will be held with China on the future course of events in the region,” he said.
The minister added, that he will write a letter to all parliamentary leaders in order to take them into confidence on further progress in the implementation of the National Action Plan.
Qureshi said the leaders will be invited for a meeting on 28th of this month at the Parliament House in Islamabad to seek their opinions and guidance on the way to move forward in the backdrop of post-Pulwama developments.
“PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif have assured me of their cooperation on all issues of national interest and security,” Qureshi said.