Government should tackle fundamentalism once and for all, says NCJP
For the Peace and Justice commission, “killing innocent people, in particular women and children, in the name of religion is unacceptable.” In addition to a military response, the Pakistani government should “address the root causes of this intolerance”.
Lahore (AsiaNews) – The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan issued a statement following Easter Sunday’s terror attack in Lahore.
Signed by the NCJP president, Bishop Joseph Arshad, and NCJP national director, Fr Emmanuel Yousaf, the statement said that “killing innocent people, in particular women and children, in the name of religion is unacceptable.” At the same time, in addition to a military response, it urged the Pakistani government to “address the root causes of this intolerance”.
Noting that although Christians were the main target, it also acknowledged that “so many of our Muslim brothers, sisters, children and families who were also visiting the park on account of Sunday holiday fell victim to this brutal attack.” Thus, “We pray for all the victims of this attack, as they were all Pakistanis.
“While the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the Army Chief have strongly condemned the attack, the Commission calls upon the government to bring the perpetrators to justice and to tighten its measures for protection of all citizens including minorities and vulnerable communities.”
The statement goes on to call upon the government “to conduct a large-scale operation to eliminate such elements that are prevalent in the province of Punjab and other parts of the country, [who] are operating and blatantly challenging the writ of the state.”
Finally, for Bishop Arshad and Fr Yousaf, “the uncertainty of life is becoming more obvious in Pakistan. We thus pray to our Lord Jesus Christ that as a nation He may grant us wisdom, tolerance and peace. May God give strength to the families of the victims to endure the loss of their loved ones.”