In one of the most deadliest attacks on the minority Christian community in Pakistan, eighty three Christian, majority of them women and children, were killed while over one hundred Christian were injured, in a twin suicide blast, in Peshawar. The death toll is estimated to rise.
This incident happened when five to six hundred Christians were coming out of the one hundred and thirty years old All Saints Church, located at the Kohati gate, in Peshawar, capital city of the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KP) province of Pakistan, after attending the Sunday mass.
According to the police sources, body parts of the two suicide bombers have been recovered from the crime scene and have been sent to the forensic laboratory, in order to confirm the identity of the two bombers. The police also added that the policeman guarding the church premise, perhaps, the only Muslim killed in the attack, as he was trying the stop the suicide bombers from entering the compound of the church.
After the horrific incident human body parts were strewn all over the church compound. The blast was so strong that it not only damaged a portion of the historical church but also broke the glass windows of the adjoining buildings.
The Christian community all over the country is in state of shock and mourning. Country wide protests started soon after the attack. The Khyber Pakhtunkhawa government of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) has declared three days of mourning in the province condemning this attack against the Christian minority community.
This incident comes within twenty four hours after the carnage that took place in the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The Al-Shabaab, a fundamental Islamist militant group with close ties with the Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban,has claimed the responsibility for the Nairobi massacre.A fundamentalist Islamic group has accepted responsibility for carrying out this attack.
The President of Pakistan, Mamoon Hussain, the Prime Minister, Nawa Sharif and Imran Khan, the chairman Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf ( Pakistan Movement for Justice__ PTI), and all the other top political leaders, whether, belonging to the government or the opposition have condemned this attack on the innocent Christians of Pakistan.
The attack took place minutes after Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, boarded the plane for New York, where he is to attend the United Nation’s summit of the world leaders in the general assembly; sending wrong signals to the world community, about the situation in Pakistan.
Imran Khan speaking to the media, was emphatic about the involvement of a foreign hand in the spate of terrorist activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. Further he questioned that why is it that when they make a headway in initiating talks with the terrorists, an incident of such nature takes place, halting any progress in the peace process.
This attack on the Christian minority community is the worst ever in the history of Pakistan. It is because of incidents like this that majority of the minority communities in Pakistan, are seeking asylum in other Christian majority countries.
Written By: Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada