KARACHI: Furtherance of peace talks with Talibans is to be decided by the Government Christian leaders maintain.
Archbishop Joseph Coutts and Bishop Sadiq Daniel- distinguished ecclesiastics of the Church of Pakistan and the Catholic Church, remarked,” It was up to the government whether to hold dialogue with the terrorists or to proceed with an operation.”
In response to the question of peace talks with Talibans Archbishop Joseph Coutts said, “This is a political question. Being just two per cent of the population, we are not in a position to influence the government decisions but we have always been good followers and would support the government move.”
Bishop of Karachi Diocese, Sadiq Daniel, solemnly said, “I don’t know or understand what should be done with whoever admits to these killings. The government knows better [how it intends to deal with them].”
Bishop Sadiq Daniel went on to say that, “They do not understand why they were brutally attacked. The bombing was so unexpected. We are peace-loving people and fail to understand the cause of this massacre.”
“As patriotic citizens we always wishing and covet peace and solidarity in the country,” he said as he appealed for an inquiry into the suicide blasts. All places of worship should be given security and protection. Masjids and Imam bargahs have been attacked in the past and this time it was a church. We call for security at all religious places so that all the people could pray freely,” Bishop Sadiq Daniel said.
They mutually condemned the rioting and turbulent protests by the agitated Christians while asserting that they did not support violence based riots. “Protests are a way to raise the voices of the oppressed. They should be organised in a peaceful and harmless manner,” they advocated.
Another clergyperson Father Emanuel Victor said,” The Christian community has remained silent in the face of oppression, but that did not mean that they were ‘deaf or dumb. We can do so much in retaliation but our Christian faith does not allow us to block roads, have a stage-in and create difficulties for others.”
Bishop Kaleem John of the Church of Pakistan’s Hyderabad Diocese articulated support to the government’s decision to hold peace talks with the Taliban. “The decision of the All Parties’ Conference provides a better roadmap for long-term peace. The security operations and other violent measures are not a solution,” he said.
Bishop John insisted on the Christian community to remain calm and peaceful while protesting against the bombings urging all to pray for peace in Pakistan.