By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and other politicians have condemned Friday’s terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch city, which killed 49 people and injured more than 20.
“Shocked and grieved to learn about the horrific massacre in Christchurch mosque,” said President 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,” tweeted Prime Minister Imran Khan “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 & 1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim,” he further said , “This has been done deliberately to also demonise legitimate Muslim political struggles.”
New Zealand police took three men and a woman into custody after the shootings, which shocked people across the nation of 5 million people.
Pakistan’s 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.”
In a tweet, Qureshi said the ministry was trying to ascertain whether any Pakistanis are among the victims.
Terming the incident “barbaric, violent act of terrorism”, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the “rise in white supremacist & Islamophobic attacks” was “unfortunate”.
The mosques — Masjid al Noor in central Christchurch and the other one in suburban Linwood — were packed with worshippers, and members of the Bangladesh cricket team were arriving when the shooter opened fire, English daily Dawn reported.
Members of the Bangladesh cricket team, including batsman Tamim Iqbal, described on social media their narrow escape from the mass shooting.
An unverified video has emerged on social media that was reportedly recorded by the Australian attacker during the shooting . New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has urged people not to share the video of the attack as well as the manifesto of the alleged shooter, which alludes to anti-immigrant sentiment, according to news agencies.