Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - The protection provided by the authorities was "minimal", despite warnings already launched in recent days, given the threats received by the churches; and "agents present at the time of the attack were busy watching the cricket match on TV, instead of carrying out their duty to protect churches. As a result of this neglect, many Christians have lost their lives": So says an official statement of the "Justice and Peace" Commission (NCJP) of the Episcopal Conference of Pakistan, after the twin suicide attack on churches in Lahore.
In the statement sent to Fides, the body calls "the government to adopt strong measures to protect churches and other religious minorities in Pakistan", recalling that "the Christian community of Pakistan was targeted by extremists in the past".
According to the note, "the churches had already been threatened and had already asked the police for further security measures". However their voices went unheeded and "the protection guaranteed was minimal."
In the note sent to Fides, the National Director of the Commission, Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, and the Executive Director, Cecil Chaudhry Shane, jointly declare: "It is urgent to stop the use of religion as a pretext to kill religious minorities. We call on the provincial and federal government to take serious measures to protect minorities". The Commission urges the "political will" to apply "the recommendations expressed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on the protection of religious minorities and the elimination of terrorism from society". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 16/03/2015)