Pakistan condemns terrorist attack on New Zealand mosques

Pakistan condemns terrorist attack on New Zealand mosques

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies):  Prime Minister Imran Khan and other politicians strongly condemned terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in which at least 49 people were killed and 20 more were seriously injured.

PM Imran Khan in his message on twitter said, "Shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques. This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families".

The PM added, "I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam and 1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim. This has been done deliberately to also demonize legitimate Muslim political struggles.

Earlier, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal also tweeted and said, "Pakistan condemns the tragic terrorist incident in New Zealand. Our High Commission is in touch with the local authorities and trying to ascertain details."

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also condemned the incident. "FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi has condemned in the strongest terms the tragic terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. FM has expressed condolences over loss of innocent lives in the heinous attack."

Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also expressed shock and grief over the shootings and tweeted, "Hearts and soul of people of Pakistan are with people of New Zealand. Bangladesh Cricket Team escaped the attack; Pakistan suffered same situation years back and can feel n relate to the pain and misery."

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also condemned the barbaric attack at Christchurch mosques and tweeted,

"Condemn in the strongest possible terms, the barbaric, violent act of terrorism at a mosque in Christchurch New Zealand. Unfortunate rise in white supremacist and Islamaphobic attacks. Thoughts and prayers with the victims and people of New Zealand," Bilawal said.

Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Siraj-ul-Haq also condemned the attack. In his twitter message the JI leader said, "Strongly condemn the attack on mosques in New Zealand during Friday prayers. May Allah bless the departed souls and help the families of the victims. Its a terrorist attack and it explains that Muslims are target of Islamophobia and racism".

At least 49 people were killed and more than 20 seriously injured in shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch when a gunman opened fire on worshippers.

Earlier it was reported that 40 had died but police have given new figures at a news conference.

A man, one of several to be detained, has been charged with murder, police say.

It's the country's worst ever mass shooting and has been condemned throughout Asia.

“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”

“There is no place in New Zealand for such extreme acts,” she said, describing it as a terrorist attack.

Most of the victims are said to have been killed at the Al Noor mosque, the main mosque in the city on New Zealand's South Island, with several more people killed at a mosque in the suburb of Linwood.

Some 48 people, including children, are being treated at Christchurch hospital, New Zealand health authorities have said. Wounds range from minor to critical, they said.

Eyewitnesses said a white man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit and carrying an automatic rifle had started shooting people at random in the Al Noor mosque. Some have described horrific scenes, with the shooting carrying on for several minutes and people being shot outside as well as inside the mosque.

"I did not see who was shooting but I saw that some people were running out through my room where I was in and also I saw some people had blood on their body and some people were limping. At that moment I realised it was really serious," said one survivor, Mohamed Nazir.