KP to mourn Peshawar blasts for three days

Published September 23, 2013
Pakistani Christians react as they stage a protest in Karachi on September 22, 2013, following two suicide bomb attacks on a Church in Peshawar. — Photo by AFP
Pakistani Christians react as they stage a protest in Karachi on September 22, 2013, following two suicide bomb attacks on a Church in Peshawar. — Photo by AFP

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has condemned the twin suicide blasts in a local church here on Sunday and announced three-day mourning to express solidarity with the affected families.

The employees of Municipal Corporation Peshawar have also said that they will not perform duty for three days to mourn the deaths of the victims of All Saints Church suicide blasts.

After the incident, the relatives of the victims and other members of Christian community placed bodies of their near and dear ones on G.T. Road and blocked vehicular traffic for some time.

Police also diverted the traffic to different routes and blocked the main artery by placing barbed wire to avoid any untoward incident.

The enraged protesters also smashed windowpanes of Lady Reading Hospital and chanted slogans against the government. They tried to attack police personnel both at the church and at the hospital.

The protesters put on fire the belongings of policemen including their uniforms and beds outside the church.

Meanwhile, all missionary schools in the provincial metropolis have also announced three-day mourning and cancelled all their scheduled functions and events.

Presentation Convent High School has postponed its centenary programme scheduled for Sept 24 owing to the mourning. Sister Margaret, the principal of the school, strongly condemned the attack and said that new date for the programme would be announced later.

Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has directed probe into the incident, saying it is a conspiracy against the government. He assured the victim families of his full support and said that political parties should avoid scoring points over the bodies because negative statements could not mitigate problems of the people.

The chief minister said that worship places of all religions were equally sacred and the government would take all possible steps to protect them.

Provincial Minister for Information Shah Farman announced compensation of Rs5 million each for deceased and Rs2 million each for the persons, got injured in the twin blasts. He said it was conspiracy to sabotage the peace process.

Meanwhile, Majlis Wahdat Muslimeen (MWM) has also announced three days mourning, describing the incident a failure of the policies of Nawaz Sharif government.

The MWM asked both the federal and provincial governments to launch operation against the terrorists without any further delay. It said that terrorists were targeting mosques, imambargahs, churches and bazaars but the government was reluctant to take action against them.

Awami National Party has also announced three days mourning and expressed its solidarity with the Christian community.

ANP spokesperson Mian Iftikhar Hussain told journalists that it made no difference that his party was not in the government. He said that they had sympathies with the victim families.

Mr Hussain said that government failed to devise an effective strategy for restoration of peace and against terrorists. That’s why terrorists were attacking innocent people, he added.

Qaumi Watan Party chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao also condemned the suicide attacks and described it a brutal act against the humanity.

In a statement, he expressed solidarity with the bereaved families and prayed for early recovery of the injured. He also asked the heath authorities to provide best medical facilities to the injured.

Mr Sherpao said that the incident grieved the entire nation and Muslims equally shared the grief of their Christian brethren. He also announced mourning for one day.

The QWP leader said the security of the places of worship should be beefed up to avoid such incidents in the future. He said that minorities would not be abandoned at that critical juncture.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam leaders Haji Abdul Jalil Jan, Maulana Ghulamullah and Haji Ghulam Ali have also condemned the tragic incident and described it an attempt to sabotage the process for restoration of peace in the region. They said this barbaric incident was a conspiracy against Islam.

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