Indian Americans, religious leaders condemn Lahore attack

Washington, Mar 29: Influential US lawmakers, religious leaders and Indian Americans today strongly condemned the ghastly terrorist attack in Lahore that killed 72 Pakistanis.

"The barbaric attack in Pakistan is an outrage and I condemn this heinous act of terror in the strongest the possible terms," said Congresswoman Grace Meng after Sunday's attack, one of the worst to hit the country since the Peshawar school massacre in 2014.

Also read: Lahore blast: Pakistan in mourning, Sharif vows to avenge the attack

US lawmakers condemn Lahore attack

"Those responsible for this attack are cowards, and I hope that these evil and gutless people are swiftly brought to justice. I call on US officials to help Pakistan with any assistance needed in that effort and United States stands with Pakistan at this difficult time," Meng said.

Senator Rob Portman said "the cowardly attack targeting Christians on Easter Sunday is yet another example of the threat radical Islamic terrorism poses to Christians and other religious minorities and to the principle of religious freedom Americans hold dear".

"The United States has a moral obligation to stand up for these communities who are being persecuted for their religious faith," he said.

"There are simply no words that can fully capture the immeasurable horror of seeing a children's playground turned into a place of slaughter," said Archbishop Joseph E Kurtz, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in a letter to Archbishop Joseph Coutts, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Pakistan.

Also read: After Lahore carnage, military goes after terrorists

Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) joined the global chorus deploring the attack. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," said Samir Kalra, HAF senior director and Human Rights Fellow.

"Pakistan's duplicitous game of placating violent religious extremists and failing to crack down on terrorism is having tragic internal consequences. Religious minorities are often the primary victims, but all citizens of Pakistan are paying the price as Islamists attempt to further their goal of enforcing Sharia law," Kalra said.

"We fear that these large scale attacks targeting religious minorities in Pakistan will become the norm," said Jay Kansara, HAF director of government relations adding "the United States must stop placating Pakistan's requests for military equipment, which will only advance their territorial aggression towards Afghanistan and India rather than combat actual terrorist threats within its own borders".

"Religious extremism which culminates in any form of violence must be rejected by all and the full weight of the law must be brought to bear on it in order for the perpetrators to be brought to justice," said the Sikh American Council.


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