All sides of political aisle slam Canada atrocity

Qureshi urges world to stop rising Islamophobia, calling it a trend, not an isolated incident


Saqib Virk June 09, 2021
PHOTO: APP/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The National Assembly on Tuesday echoed with vehement condemnations of the killing of a Muslim Pakistani-origin family in Canada, with both government and opposition leaders denouncing the event as ‘Islamophobic’.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while expressing concern over the "rising trend of Islamophobic attacks in the Western world", urged the international community to pay attention and stop the trend immediately.

"International human rights organisations should raise their voice on this issue. I hope that international media will also play its due role," Qureshi added.

“The details of the attack made my heart shake and eyes wet," the FM said while speaking on the floor of NA, adding that, "We are seeing the trend of Islamophobic attacks for some time [and] they are on the rise in the Western world. For the last two years, we are bringing global attention to this — that this is a trend, not individual acts."

The foreign minister said that while the investigation was underway by the Canadian police, he could only see hate as the primary motive for the attack.

"This is a hate crime," Qureshi asserted, adding he had sought details of the matter.

"This isn't an isolated incident, it is a rising trend”.

Also read: PM saddened over killing of Pakistani-origin family in Ontario

Earlier, the FM also took to Twitter to condemn the incident, saying three generations of Pakistani-Canadians had been killed for their faith.

In a separate statement, the minister said the incident was a "test case for the Canadian government and society".

He went on to add that the Canadian government must play its due role in restoring the confidence and protection of the Muslims residing in the country.

Qureshi said that the Pakistani Consul General in Toronto established contact with the relatives of the victim family who lost their lives in the tragic incident.

Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, also condemned the attack, saying if states bombard Muslim nations, it is always justified as (an act of) "self-defence", and when Muslims defend themselves, it is declared terrorism.

"What happened in Canada was terrorism and Muslims were targeted," she said.

The minister said the Canadian authorities had already admitted that the attack was Islamophobic.

Former interior minister and PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal said the event was heart-breaking.

"It was an inhumane act. We need to educate the world as well as other Islamic countries," the PML-N leader said.

A day before, on June 7, the police said a man accused of killing four members of a Canadian Muslim family by running them over in his pickup truck, targeted them in an attack motivated by hate.

"There is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act, motivated by hate," Detective Superintendent Paul Waight of the London police department told reporters.

"We believe the victims were targeted because of their Islamic faith," Waight said.

He added that the police in London - 200 km (120 miles) southwest of Toronto - were consulting with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and prosecutors about potentially filing terrorism charges.

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