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Qureshi criticises India's condemnation of NZ terror attack

Updated March 20, 2019

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India did not have the courage to use the words 'Muslim' or 'mosque' in its condemnation, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi points out. ─ APP/File
India did not have the courage to use the words 'Muslim' or 'mosque' in its condemnation, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi points out. ─ APP/File

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday criticised India's condemnation of a white supremacist terror attack targeting Muslims in two Christchurch mosques during Friday prayers last week.

As many as 50 people, including nine of Pakistani origin, were gunned down by a white attacker armed with semi-automatic weapons. The attacker opened fire on worshippers in two mosques during Friday congregational prayers and livestreamed the terror attack on social media.

As news spread of the March 15 massacres at the two mosques, world leaders condemned the attack in the strongest words.

India had also shared condolences, with its Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi had condemned the "heinous terrorist attack at the places of worship in Christchurch". The message, however, made no mention of the Muslim community which was the clear target of the shootings.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while speaking to Pakistani journalists during a three-day trip to Beijing, pointed out that New Delhi "did not have the courage" to use the words 'Muslim' or 'mosque' in its condemnation of the attack.

"If, God forbid, there had been an attack on a Hindu temple, Pakistan would have stood with India," Qureshi stated.

Read: Terrorist attack on New Zealand mosques sparks global outcry

Discussing his visit to China, Qureshi said that Beijing had once again proved to be a great friend of Pakistan's during a time of crisis.

"Pakistan has complete faith in China. This trust has been bolstered by the role that China played in the recent [Pak-India] crisis," he said.

As tensions spiked between Pakistan and India in the aftermath of the Feb 14 Pulwama attack, China had called for restraint on the part of both countries and played a role in easing tensions through diplomacy.

Speaking about his meetings with Chinese dignitaries during the visit, Qureshi said that Pakistan is providing Chinese investors with complete security.

"Chinese investors should come to Pakistan without any fear, we take full responsibility for their security," Qureshi said, adding that no investor would have any issues procuring no-objection certificates.