'Pakistan stands with Sri Lanka': Qureshi calls Sri Lankan premier to condemn terrorist attacks

Published April 21, 2019
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to condole and condemn the terrorist attacks that rocked the country on Easter Sunday. — AP/File
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to condole and condemn the terrorist attacks that rocked the country on Easter Sunday. — AP/File

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday called Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to condole and condemn the terrorist attacks that rocked the country on Easter Day.

A devastating series of eight bomb blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka, killing nearly 160 people, including dozens of foreigners. Nearly 500 people were injured in the attacks.

Four Pakistanis were among the injured, according to the Foreign Ministry. All four ─ including three women identified as Maheen Hassan, Muzna Humayun and Atika Atif ─ sustained minor injuries and were discharged after receiving treatment.

In his call to Wickremasinghe, Qureshi expressed "his deepest condolences on behalf of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the people of Pakistan in the wake of terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka", said a statement issued by the ministry. "He conveyed sympathies for the families that lost their loved ones in the tragedy and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured. He stressed that Pakistan fully understand the pain of their Sri Lankan brethren."

Read: 'Cruel violence': World leaders react to deadly Sri Lanka blasts

Qureshi added that Pakistan "condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and completely understands the trauma and agony suffered by the people of Sri Lanka today".

"Being a victim of prolong terrorism itself Pakistan stands with Sri Lanka in its difficult hour."

The foreign minister, on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, also extended all out help and support to the Sri Lankan government and people.

'Horrific terrorist attack'

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the "horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday".

"My profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren. Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief," he tweeted.

Leader of the Opposition and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif also expressed grief at the "tragic Easter carnage" in Sri Lanka. "We mourn the loss of innocent lives. Stand by Sri Lanka and the Christian community around the globe in this hour of grief," he said.

Condemning the attacks, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said "as always, the purveyors of terror have chosen to target innocents on a holy day. Thoughts & prayers with all the families for whom this #Easter has become one of mourning".

"The people and Government of Pakistan stand by the people and Government of Sri Lanka at this moment of tragedy and against terror," Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal tweeted soon after news of the attacks broke.

Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari condemned the attack in a tweet, saying that terrorism needs a strong united global approach to be effectively defeated worldwide.

"We stand with our Sri Lankan brethren as they confront these brutal terrorist attacks," Mazari said.

"On Easter Sunday Sri Lanka is witnessing a horrifying tragedy," activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir. "Sri Lanka is a resilient nation and it will rise stronger after this dark hour."

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