PESHAWAR: A Pastor forgives those who carried out the suicide bombings at the All Saints Church taking lives of his mother and other close relatives.
Reverend Aftab Gohar a Church of Scotland pastor who has lost his mother and other family members in the recent twin suicide bombings at the All Saints Church in Pakistan has said,” he forgives their killers.”
The bombings have claimed Reverend Aftab Gohar’s 79-year-old mother, nephew, niece, two uncles and other friends and relatives. According to details, up to 200 people have been killed in the September 22 blasts at Peshawar’s All Saints Church.
While October 20, bereaved Reverend Gohar take up his duties again at Abbotsgrange Church, in the Scottish town of Grangemouth, following a faith filled statement about the militants who carried out the deadliest attack against Pakistan’s Christian community.
“It is wrong what these people did but I forgive them,” he said.
“Forgiving is what we learn from the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why I forgive,” Reverend Aftab Gohar added. “We pray that they may one day develop the wisdom to understand that it is not right to kill children and other innocent people,” he continued.
While recalling the incident he said, “There were 125 children in Sunday school that fateful day. My sister was teaching there.”
Nonetheless, Reverend Gohar emphasized in a statement that, it was essential to recognize that not all Muslims detest Christians. “The majority of Muslims helped, taking victims to hospital or helping to prepare graves or prepare food for the injured as well as for the friends and relatives caring for them,” he affirmed.
While talking about the injured Reverend Gohar said,” I still fear for friends and relatives in the area, and that there is an urgent need for more medical help for many of those who were seriously injured.” He went on to reveal, ”My 23-year-old niece Farah Javed has been paralysed from the waist down and needs treatment not available to her in a public hospital,” he said.
”Adding to the angst my family has by now been required to generate considerable sums to pay for medical treatment for injured relatives in the impoverished Asian nation,” he explained.
Seeing the passion of this man of faith, Andrew McLellan- convener of the Church of Scotland World Mission Council, has stressed that,”It was very moving to hear the words of the Reverend Aftab Gohar. These heartless killings happened in Pakistan, but forgiveness makes the whole world better. The Church of Scotland is richer for having a minister of the stature of Aftab among us.”
“He and his family are entitled to count on the love and prayers of us all,” McLellan added.