PM Imran Khan phones New Zealand counterpart, condemns attacks on mosques
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Prime Minister Imran Khan phoned New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and condemned the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch.
According to sources, the prime minister said that New Zealand had shown the world the way to block extremism at the international level. “Steps taken by the New Zealand prime minister have won the hearts of Pakistanis,” he said.
He said that he thanks New Zealand on behalf of the people of Pakistan. “Pakistan itself has been the victim of terrorism,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that over 70,000 people embraced martyrdom in the war against terrorism. “Pakistan stands with New Zealand during this difficult time,” he said.
As many as 50 people were martyred when a gunman opened fire on two mosques – Al-Noor and Linwood in Christchurch.
On Thursday, the bullet-riddled Al Noor mosque in Christchurch was being repaired, painted and cleaned ahead of Friday prayers, as grieving families buried more victims.
Ardern has announced that Friday’s call to prayers for Muslims will be broadcast nationally and there will be a two minute silence. Armed police have been guarding mosques around New Zealand since the attacks. “We will have a heightened presence tomorrow in order to provide reassurance to people attending the Friday call for prayers,” police said in a statement on Thursday.
Both mosques attacked, the Al Noor and nearby Linwood mosque, plan to be reopened. Thousands of worshippers are expected at the Al Noor mosque, where the majority of victims died.
Most victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist who was living in Dunedin, on New Zealand’s South Island, has been charged with murder following the attack.
He was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5, when police said he was likely to face more charges.
The first victims were buried on Wednesday and burials continued on Thursday, with the funeral of a school boy.
A mass burial is expected to be held on Friday. Body washing will go on through the day and night to have the dead ready for burial, said one person involved in the process.
Police have now identified all 50 victims. Twenty nine people wounded in the attacks remained in hospital, eight still in intensive care.