PESHAWAR - Announcing a three-day national mourning over twin suicide blasts at All Saints Church in Peshawar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Sunday he had no words to condemn this ‘inhuman act’; it is no bravery to target innocent people.
Interacting with newsmen at Lady Reading Hospital, where he inquired after the injured, Khan said the government would review security of Christian community that had become a soft target (for terrorists). “We have decided to chalk out a master plan to ramp up security for Christian community and their churches.”
A liaison officer would also be appointed at the federal and provincial levels to have maximum interaction with the minority communities with regards to their security so that they could have a sense of protection, added Khan.
The interior minister, who was flanked by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khan Kattak, told the media the dead included 34 women and seven children. He said no religion, society or law allowed such a treatment of women. He said the tragedy had left him shocked and speechless and he was at a loss of words to condemn this ‘inhumane incident’. He also said that those who carried out the attack were enemies of Pakistan and Islam.
"Islam gives the message of peace. Islam doesn't like people who create chaos. It is against the teachings of every religion to attack people busy in worship at their worship places. The entire nation is shocked over this tragedy," Khan said.
The interior minister expressed profound sorrow on behalf of the prime minister and the president, who wished to fly to Peshawar immediately but was advised to postpone his visit for security reasons. The federal government, he said, was extending all possible assistance and medical services to the provincial government.
The minister lauded the patience and tolerance demonstrated by the Christian community and their leadership. “The lesson of patience given by the bishop is a guideline for the entire country,” he said.
He also appreciated the services of doctors and other staff at Lady Reading Hospital. "I acknowledge the services of doctors, nurses and other staffers here especially after the chief executive told me that this was the 210th suicide attack (in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) during the last five years."
The minister said it was a national issue and all the political parties be it Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan People’s Party were united against the scourge of terrorism.
To a question, Khan said all the political parties, the military leadership and the people took the difficult decision for peace in the country. He said the government did not want to make the process controversial.
Despite that conditions were set, army officers were attacked and today these innocent people were targeted. “Now after this incident, the nation would have to make decision about a future line of action," concluded the minister.