Pope laments Easter anti-Christian killings he describes as “cowardly and senseless.”
8-year old Zainab put on her best red dress for her visit to the amusement park, along with her relatives, last Sunday. It was the Easter Sunday. Little did she or her parents knew that it would be her last day on Earth. Like all the other children present in the park, she also enjoyed the rides and various other fun park activities. Then the explosion happened. It was only much later that her father found her bleeding in her red dress, her small body lifeless.
Pakistan witnessed its worst terrorist attack this year during the Easter Sunday. More than 70 people dead, including women and children. Around 300 injured. According to Pakistani authorities, 29 children were killed in the attack. The attack happened at Gulshan-e-Iqbal park, in Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan.
The suicide bomber from the outfit Jamaat ul-Ahrar, a splinter faction of the Pakistani Taliban, walked into the crowded park and detonated his explosives-packed vest. The outfit claimed their target was the Christians who were celebrating Easter. However, most of the people who got killed during the attack were Muslims.
Pope Francis mourned victims of the terrorist attack. He asked the people all over the world to pray for the dead and the injured, during his Regina Caeli address on Monday. He condemned the terrorist attack and called it a senseless and cowardly crime. Pope Francis said the Easter for the Pakistani Christians was bloodied by the attack during which several innocent people were massacred.
He appealed to the authorities of the nation to ensure safety to its citizens, especially for the religious minorities. He said that the only way to achieve peace is through respect for your fellow beings and via fraternity. Hatred and violence will only lead to destruction and pain. Pope said the resurrection of Jesus Christ arouses in us a will to pray with conviction, to stop the hands that sow terror and death, and thus bring an era of peace, love, reconciliation, and justice in the world.
Lahore is one of the political strongholds of the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He visited the wounded people in the Hospital, and also canceled his trip to Washington for the nuclear summit. The Pakistani security forces have already arrested a number of suspects from different parts of the country. Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa, an army spokesman said they recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition during one of the many raids conducted in the Lahore city.