Pakistani traders shout slogans and hold placards as they protest against the attacks on two mosques in New Zealand, in Islamabad on Friday. Agence France-Presse
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign ministry says four Pakistanis were wounded in mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.
Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted that five other Pakistani citizens are missing after Friday’s attacks.
He said Pakistani diplomats in New Zealand are in contact with local authorities. Separately, the ministry said Pakistan views the attacks as an “assault on the values of freedom of conscience and association common to all mankind.”
It asked New Zealand to take immediate action to bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure the safety of the Muslim community.
Meanwhile, President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and other politicians strongly condemned Friday’s terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand.
“Shocked and grieved to learn about the horrific massacre in Christchurch mosque,” said Alvi. “My prayers for the victims [ ] Hate, once unleashed is difficult to stop. Difficult times.”
“Shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques,” said the premier on Twitter. “This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families.”
“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,” he went on to say. “This has been done deliberately to also demonise legitimate Muslim political struggles.”
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi condemned “in the strongest terms the tragic terrorist attack,” shared the ministry of foreign affairs. “FM has expressed condolences over loss of innocent lives in the heinous attack.”
Terming the incident “barbaric, violent act of terrorism”, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the “rise in white supremacist and Islamophobic attacks” was “unfortunate.”
Members of the Bangladesh cricket team, including batsman Tamim Iqbal, described on social media their narrow escape from the mass shooting.
“Glad to hear the team is safe. Hope everyone else is safe also,” said Finance Minister Asad Umar, replying to Iqbal. “Terrorists destroying the peace of the world must be fought wherever they are and whichever religion they belong to.”