Islamabad: The 26th session of the National Assembly began in the capital Friday with the House observing a minute’s silence over the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and Lebanon, reported Radio Pakistan.
Earlier this week, 128 people were killed and 180 left injured at multiple locations in Paris in a wave of coordinated attacks by militants. The self-styled Islamic State, which subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack, also bombed the Lebanese capital the same week.
The night before Paris attacks – the deadliest in Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings – IS bombed South Beirut, killing 44 people, and wounding over 200. The twin blast were aimed at a Hezbollah bastion, ostensibly in revenge for its military support of regime forces in neighbouring Syria’s civil war.
Both attacks targeted urban centers. In Paris, militants attacked a theatre and several restaurants. In Beirut, they hit a busy shopping street.
A brutal carnage
Pakistan said it “strongly” condemns the Paris attacks and “reiterates its condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned “this act of terror… this brutal carnage” while President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain expressed solidarity with the people of France and termed the terrorists “enemies of humanity.”
“The people and Government of Pakistan wish to convey their heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences to the bereaved families and the people and Government of France. We stand with them in their hour of grief. We pray for speedy recovery of the injured,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan also expressed grief over the attacks in Paris and condemned the bombings in Beirut.
The survivors of Pakistan’s deadliest ever terror attack at APS Peshawar also expressed solidarity with the victims of the Paris attacks, describing those responsible as “animals” who had “nothing to do with Islam.”
Chemistry teacher Andalib Aftab lost her 16-year-old son as well as many students in the Peshawar attack. She said tearfully during Monday’s meeting that she wants to “tell the French they are not alone.”