Islamabad - To condemn the Taliban’s attacks on two churches in Lahore, which left 15 people dead and more than 70 injured, local Christian community, members of civil society and political parties’ activists on Monday gathered in front of National Press Club (NPC) here and chanted against the terrorists and demanded the government to ensure the protection of life and property to the minorities.

Three different protesting parties gathered in front of NPC. They were holding placards inscribed with different slogans condemning the attacks. They slogans over placards were: “We strongly condemn suicide attack on churches; we cry for our rights; extremists have no religion; and we condemn the act of terrorism in Lahore.”

The leaders of United Council of Churches Islamabad Pakistan (UCCIP), Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and civil society were leading the protests. The UCCIP also organised a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of churches.

Pastor Samson Suhail, the general secretary of UCCIP, demanded the government to protect the minorities which are under fire in the country. “We strongly condemn attack over churches in Youhanabad Lahore and want justice for the victims.” Referring to the attack on a church in Peshawar in 2013, which killed around 80 people and left more than hundred injured, he said, “After Peshawar incident it was in the knowledge of Punjab government that such incident could occur in Lahore but no attention was paid to the security of the churches.”  He said that the federal and provincial governments should ensure the security of the minorities under the constitution of Pakistan. “We are standing side by side with the security forces of Pakistan during the ongoing war against terrorism,” he said. The PTI protest was led by its women wing. The participants were carrying placards, condemning the terrorist activity and showing solidarity with the Christian minority. They chanted slogans against terrorism and showed solidarity with Christian community in this critical hour. “PTI stands with Christian minorities; our thoughts are with the affected families; we want peace for everyone,” said one of the speakers.

Tahira Abdullah, a social worker and human right activist, also took part in the protest. She said that the whole nation was shaken by the tragic incident of Lahore.