Pakistan, Afghanistan condemn Charlie Hebdo killings

Islamabad, Jan 8: Pakistan today condemned an Islamist attack on a French magazine that has outraged many Muslims for its controversial cartoons as "terrorism", despite its own tough laws forbidding blasphemy.

Masked gunmen burst into the offices of the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo magazine yesterday morning, killing 12 people including some of France's most outspoken journalists, in the country's bloodiest attack in half a century.

Paris shooting

"Pakistan condemns the brutal terrorist attack in Paris that resulted in the loss of many lives and has left several others injured," Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

"Pakistan deplores terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We extend our condolences to the government and people of France on the loss of life." Islamabad's condemnation comes at a time when blasphemy laws are being increasingly invoked against Pakistan's beleaguered minorities, with rights groups claiming they are abused to settle personal scores.

In neighbouring Afghanistan, where rallies were held against the same magazine in 2012, President Ashraf Ghani branded the attack as "heinous". "Killing of defenceless people and civilians is a heinous act of terror, there is no justification for this heinous act," he said in a statement. 


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