ISLAMABAD: Condemnations began pouring in soon after news of the attack on the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine came in, with ministers and leaders of all political parties reiterating their resolve to continue their struggle against terrorism.
In a strongly worded statement, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that he “would do everything in his power to protect the country.”
“An attack on one of us is an attack on all. The attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar represents an attack on the progressive, inclusive future of Pakistan; one where every man, woman and child is entitled to life, liberty and property in the pursuit of happiness no matter their religion,” he was quoted as saying.
He also said that the Sufi people predate Pakistan, and formed an important part in the struggle for its formation.
“Any attack on them, is a direct threat to the Pakistan of Jinnah and will be dealt with as such.”
“The past few days have been hard, and my heart is with the victims. But we can’t let these events divide us, or scare us. We must stand united in this struggle for the Pakistani identity, and universal humanity,” he added.
In a similar statement, President Mamnoon Hussain said that terrorists and their patrons should stop playing with human lives.
He also stated that the operation would continue against the terrorists.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar strongly condemned the terrorist attack and offered condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Former president Asif Ali Zardari stressed that the patrons, facilitators and planners of this attack will be apprehended at all costs.
The Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman directed the Sindh government to hold an inquiry into the incident. He also instructed the elected representatives, party office bearers and workers to reach hospitals and donate blood for the injured.
“Shocked and saddened by condemnable terrorist attack inside Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar targeting innocent people including women and children,” Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan tweeted.
Condemning the attacks on Thursday, the PTI chief called to “reassert the priority of implementing NAP in its entirety”.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah declared an emergency at the Sehwan Hospital and directed doctors to remain on duty. “Terrorists are neither Muslims nor human beings,” he stated.
Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb said perpetrators of the ‘ghastly act’ were barbarians and enemies of humanity who did not represent any religion or ideology.
“Shrines are not only symbol of peace, love and coexistence but also home to many poor people to whom they provide free shelter and food,” she added. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs also condemned the blast.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2017.