Lahore (AsiaNews) - Christians and Muslims in Pakistan strongly condemn the massacre in Paris on 13 November, where Islamic State (IS) jihadists targeted one of the countries symbol of Europe, killing 129 people and wounding at least 350 others.
Activists of the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Church of Pakistan (NCJP) issued a joint statement signed by Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf Mani and the Executive Director Shane Cecil Chaudhry, in which they define the death of innocent people for reasons of faith as "unacceptable".
The two Catholic leaders address an appeal to the government of Pakistan, to show solidarity with France and its people in this time of need and express the hope that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
Given the uncertainty that characterizes our lives, warn the leaders of NCJP, the families of the victims are entrusted to "prayer in Christ" to find the peace and strength needed "to overcome this irreparable loss”. They also wish a speedy recovery to those injured in this "horrible attack".
Speaking to AsiaNews Fr. Bonnie Mendes, one of the most prominent members of the Church of Pakistan, currently in the Philippines as regional coordinator of Caritas Asia, condemns the massacre in no uncertain terms. He says the defense of life is always be at the center of the Asian bishops, and warns: "The terrorist attacks must end" and all humanity "must come together to fight terrorism."
The war launched in Iraq (and Syria) have triggered this spiral of violence and terror, warns the priest, who adds that today more than ever "the use of force is not the solution of the problems." "We need political solutions" he concludes, united "surveillance of terrorist activities" and to defend the values of "liberty, fraternity and equality" at the base of the French Republic.
A strong condemnation of the attack in Paris also comes from Pakistani Muslim personalities and intellectuals. Prof. Musadeq Hussain, dean of the Faculty of Law at Riphah International University in Faisalabad (Punjab) states that "these actions will worsen the situation in the world" and "will be a source of threat to the minorities living in Europe." France's support to the peoples of Asia and Africa will come out "weakened", and will strengthen "military and imperialist" policies.