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Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "The killing of innocent people, especially women and children, in the name of religion is unacceptable.
Along with Christians, many of our Muslim brothers, women, children and families have been victims of this brutal attack. We pray for all the victims of this attack and we urge the government to identify and bring the perpetrators to justice, by adopting stringent measures for the protection of all citizens, including minorities and vulnerable communities": says to Agenzia Fides Bishop Joseph Arshad, President of the national Commission "Justice and Peace" of the Episcopal Conference of Pakistan, in the aftermath of the "Easter massacre", which occurred in Lahore. In the Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park, green area of the city, a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing 72 people, including 30 children, and injuring more than 300.
"A few days ago the government - recalls the Bishop - had taken the initiative to declare Holi (Hindu feast) and Easter (Christian holiday) public holidays. This is why Christians were flocking to the park where the massacre took place", he explains. The spokesman for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan off-shoot Jamaat ul Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the attack , who said it wanted to "attack Christians" and launch a "challenge to the government".
The Bishops of Pakistan, through the National Commission for Justice and Peace, have "strongly condemned the tragic attack against innocent people", recalling that "although the government face extremist elements through military operations, they must also address the causes of this intolerance" calling for "a large-scale operation to eliminate those elements that blatantly defy the state".
Mgr. Arshad observes "the precariousness of life, which is increasingly evident in Pakistan, for all citizens" and concludes: "We ask the Lord Jesus Christ to give Pakistan wisdom, tolerance and peace". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 30/03/2016)