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Pakistani Catholic organisation condemns attack on Christians in Quetta

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The National Commission for Justice and Peace has strongly condemned recent attack on Christian win Quetta. On April 15, Sunday four gunmen on two motorbikes attacked Christians outside the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Essa Nagri- a predominantly Christian neighborhood in Quetta.

attack on Christians in Essa Nagri Quetta

The attack left two Christians dead while 8 other Christians including girls were injured. In a statement, the National Commission for Justice and Peace reiterated the fact that the state is responsible to provide security to all the citizens regardless of their faith.

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Executive Director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace, Mr. Cecil Shane Chaudhry stated that the government must “immediately take serious notice of this dangerous trend emerging and properly inquire all these incidents and formulate an independent inquiry commission.”

He further stated that “These incidents show the inability of national action plan to counter extremism and intolerance. Government must ensure that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are brought to justice”.

Archbishop of Islamabad and Rawalpindi Bishop Joseph Arshad expressed deep grief over the loss of lives in this attack, he stated that he was deeply sorry due to “loss of precious lives and prayed for the souls of the deceased, the injured and their families.”

Terror group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the drive-by shooting incident. A police official confirmed that eight others were also injured and were taken to Bolan Medical Complex Hospital (BMC). All the victims hailed from Christian community. The injured include girls also.

A local police official told AFP that “Four men on two motorbikes opened indiscriminate fire, killing two people while injuring three others”. Followed by the incident, agitated Christians protested the killings. Another police official stated: “Around 500” protesters blocked a road by placing the bodies of the two victims in the middle.”

The deceased Azhar Iqbal and Rahib Kashif were laid to rest on April 16, Monday. The deceased included Rahib Khalid and Azhar Iqbal who were rushed to the hospital but succumbed to their injuries. Their family members accused that the hospital staff displayed professional negligence and did not provide the victims with immediate medical treatment.