Lahore (Agenzia Fides) – It is urgent to implement a national action plan against terrorism, that has to be "the top priority of the government if one wants to eradicate terrorism and extremism from the country": is what the Catholic Bishops of Pakistan say in a message issued after the suicide attack that devastated the city of Lahore. On February 13, during a protest of workers of the pharmaceutical sector, in front of the Parliament of Punjab, a suicide bomber blew himself up causing the death of 13 people and over 100 were injured, 20 are in serious conditions.
The attack in Lahore, aimed mainly towards the police, was followed by another explosion in Quetta. "Once again we are brutally attacked by extremist forces", notes the statement of the Bishops' Commission for Justice and Peace" of Pakistan (Ncjp), sent to Fides and signed by the President, Bishop Joseph Arshad, and the National Director, Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf.
"The uncertainty of life is becoming more and more evident in Pakistan. We pray to our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us wisdom, tolerance and peace. May God give the victims' families the strength to bear the loss of their loved ones, and help the injured in their path to recovery", said the Commission.
The suicide attack in Lahore was claimed by the "Jamaatul Ahrar" faction, which separated from the known group "Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan", both banned by the government, which have launched a new offensive against government departments across the country.
"The killing of innocent protesters and security officials is unacceptable. While we extend condolences to the victims’ families, we give respect and tribute to police officers killed and pray for their families and for the injured", reads the text published by the Bishops.
While the Prime Minister of Pakistan and all public institutions have strongly condemned the attack, the Commission calls on the government to "bring the perpetrators to justice and address the root causes of this intolerance, increasing the measures for the protection of all citizens". In fact, despite the warnings that circulated, "the government has failed to protect its citizens and police officers". Therefore, the Commission calls for implementing the national plan of action against terrorism, adequately equipping the security force. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/02/2017)