LAHORE - People of different faiths and religions protested in front of Lahore Press Club on Sunday against the suicide attacks on two Churches at Youhanabad, the largest Christian settlement of the country in which reportedly 15 persons got killed while approximately100 are reported injured.

On the call of Centre for Human Rights Education- Pakistan and other civil society organizations, hundreds of men and women got together in front of Lahore’s Press Club. The protesters who were carrying placards and banners against the Youhanabad incident chanted slogans against the attack. Human Rights Defenders including Irfan Mufti, Shazia Shaheen, Saeeda Diep and Samson Salamat led the protest. Director Centre for Human Rights Education- Pakistan Samson Salamat while addressing the protesters demanded effective and immediate implementation of National Action to stop religious extremism and terrorism in the name of religion and sect.

“Attack on the Churches in Youhanabad is actually attack on Pakistan, however we are here to give a strong message to the terrorists groups that we stand united against terrorism”, he remarked.

Samson Salamat appealed to the protesters to adopt peaceful means and ways to record their protest and observe peace.

Irfan Mufti said that Pakistan and terrorism cannot go together and we as a nation need to stand united against the Taliban and other militant outfits. Mr. Irfan Mufti strongly condemned the Youhanabad attack and expressed solidarity with the families of the victims.

The peaceful protestors at the end pledged to stand united and continue their struggle to make Pakistan a better place for every citizen including the religious minorities of the country.

Meanwhile, Dr Paul Bhatti, Chairman All Pakistan Minorities Alliance condemned the incident and demanded of government to deal the culprits with iron hand. He also announced seven-day mourning as he visited the aggrieved families.

Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Khalil Tahir Sandhu has strongly condemned the suicide blast near a church in Yuhanabad and expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the loss of precious human lives. He said that Christian community has always foiled the conspiracies against the country and national unity and solidarity will again be displayed on this occasion. The Minister said that Punjab police set an example of courage and sacrifice. He said that police officials laid down their lives but stopped the suicide attackers from entering into the church which would have caused large scale destruction. Khalil Tahir Sandhu assured that the government is fully alert and will discharge its responsibilities efficiently. He said that no one will be allowed to take the law into his hands and the situation demands that patience and restraint be displayed. The Minister also prayed for the early recovery of the injured.

–Staff Reporter