Do not exploit attacks on Christians: Missionaries

Over 80 people were killed and 150 injured after two suicide bombers struck in the historic church. The incident has reignited public debate on the situation of minorities in Pakistan.

Pakistan
Sep 25 2013, 3:51 PM
Do not exploit attacks on Christians: Missionaries

Missionaries in Pakistan denounced the political exploitation of Sunday’s bomb attack at All Saints Anglican Church in Peshawar.

Over 80 people were killed and 150 injured after two suicide bombers struck in the historic church. The incident has reignited public debate on the situation of minorities in Pakistan.

Father Robert McCulloch, a missionary of St. Columba, for over 30 years in the country, recalled with dismay, "Imran Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, had declared during the election campaign that Pakistan was 'a land only for Muslims', giving breath to extremists. We understood he is an opportunist, who will unite with any formation that will give him votes. On the other hand, today Prime Minister Sharif is criticized for having proposed negotiations with Taliban. I think his was an attempt to build peace in the country. Of course, how can one communicate with groups who want to destabilize the country with terrorism? And then, given the immense fragmentation of the Taliban galaxy, who can one talk with?The fight against terrorism affects the entire country.Today, Christians are called to respond with maturity otherwise it will lead to conflicts between Muslims and Christians", he said.

Father Gulshan Barkat, a Pakistani priest of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, resident in Multan of Punjab province said, "The government is working to give protection to places of worship and Christian institutions. The Minister of the Interior, Chaudary Nisar, said that a security plan for places of worship will soon be put in place. We have been invited in different cities, as religious leaders, to emergency and planning meetings, organized by the police or by the civil authorities."

While the Tahri-e-Taliban Pakistan terrorist group have claimed responsibility, all major political leaders have condemned the violence, including the President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sahrif and Prime Minister of Khyber Pakhtunwa province, Pervez Khattak.

Source: Agenzia Fides

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