ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE/ KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as well as the country’s top political and religious leaders on Saturday strongly condemned the grisly terrorist attacks in Paris which left scores dead on Friday night.
In an official statement, Premier Nawaz offered Pakistan’s support in bringing those behind the attacks to justice.
“Pakistan stands firm behind the people and government of France in this hour and extends its support to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said. “My prayers are with the families who are victims of this brutal carnage.”
President Mamnoon Hussain, while expressing solidarity with the people of France, called terrorists the ‘enemies of humanity’. “Terrorism is an international phenomenon and a joint strategy should be threshed out for its complete eradication,” he said.
His views were echoed by Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. “Terrorism is an international monster and global efforts are needed to eliminate this evil from the world,” he said in a statement.
The PPP chairman expressed sympathy and solidarity with the victims of the attacks and said “the Pakistani nation stands with the people of France in these hours of pain.” He pointed out that Pakistan too is the worst victim of terrorism and urged the international community to unite against extremism and terrorism “before it penetrates in every nook and corner of the world.” The amir of Jamaat-e-Islami Sirajul Haq condemned the carnage in Paris but said one should not jump to conclusions and start pointing fingers at Muslims.
“I am extremely aggrieved over loss of lives caused by the attacks in Paris. We are with the people of Paris at this trying time,” he told reporters on Saturday. “[But] fingers were being pointed at Muslims while details [of the attacks] were coming and this is uncalled-for.”
The Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) too, while denouncing the Paris attacks, said Islam has nothing to do with terrorism and violence.
“Islam terms the killing of an individual as the killing of the entire humankind,” PUC chief Tahir Ashrafi said in a statement. “It would be wrong to blame the religion or the entire Muslim Ummah for any act of terror,” Ashrafi added.
“These terrorist attacks are a matter of concern for the entire world. However, to associate these incidents with Islam and Muslims is very disappointing.”
Ashrafi and PUC central secretary general Sahibzada Qasmi said that Islam does not allow the killing of any innocent person.
“Muslims, especially their religious scholars, disown any sort of killings and violence on the pretext of Islam,” said Ashrafi. He maintained that the attack in France was aimed at sabotaging the struggle of the Syrian people.
He also pointed out that the people of Palestine and Syria will have to face the consequences of these attacks in France. Religious leader and chairman of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Dr Tahirul Qadri, meanwhile, condemned the Paris attacks in the strongest terms.
In his statement on Saturday, Qadri said PAT, its workers and leadership stand with the people of France in this difficult time. The PAT chief added that it is the collective duty of the entire world to join forces to eliminate this scourge once and for all.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2015.
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