LAHORE - The ground at Gulshan Iqbal Park was still littered with the trash yesterday, and blood stains could be seen across the walls of the rides in certain places beyond the police lines.
Christian rights groups turned up at Gulshan Iqbal Park in the aftermath of the suicide attack that claimed the lives of 72 and injured over 250, according to conservative estimates. Father Victor, an attendant of the protest said a few words to the attendees on the occasion.
“We are deeply saddened by this incident, and pray for our brothers and sisters that embraced martyrdom in Lahore terror attack,” he said.
To protest the attack, dozens of people reached the park yesterday where they held a candlelight vigil to mourn the lives lost in the attack. Sister Alice from the Fransiscan Sisters said, “Who are they (terrorists) to decide who lives and who dies? If we can’t give life to anyone we should not be allowed to take it.”
Roughly 70 to 80 people were in attendance, carrying placards, chanting anti-Taliban slogans and singing Christian hymns in a show of solidarity. The protest was a demonstration of the Christian community’s fearlessness even after being targeted repeatedly by incidents of terrorism.
The bombings in Yohanabad that targeted the Roman Catholic Church and the Christ Church on March 15, 2015 left over 15 dead and 20 injured. On September 22, 2013, the All Saints Church in Peshawar was attacked, which led to the deaths of over 120 and left 250 wounded.
Fransiscan Father Jamil Albert, one of the participants, condemned the violence and said: “We condemn the mindset of hatred and extremism. We are here to prove that we are one nation, and we stand together against incidents such as this. We ask the government to do the same. But most of all, we ask the government to ensure the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) in both letter and spirit.”
Security forces were present in large numbers on the occasion, but there wasn’t much evidence of any forensic evidence being gathered. Punjab Government spokesperson Zaeem Qadri visited the site earlier in the day and admitted to the press that the government failed to provide adequate security to parks in the province.