SRINAGAR: Terrorism shook the world for the third time in less than a week on Sunday, with a suicide bombing that killed over 70 at a park in Lahore, Pakistan, prompting a global outpouring of grief and solidarity.
Global heads of state, leaders and prominent personalities joined thousands of others in extending their thoughts and prayers to the tragedy-stricken South Asian nation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to condemn the attack on Twitter, reportedly calling his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif as well, with several other leaders including French President François Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron following suit.
U.S. presidential candidates John Kasich, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton all issued statements denouncing the attack, for which a faction of the Taliban extremist group has claimed responsibility.
Strongly condemning the “cowardly” terror attack in Lahore, the US has said together with its partners in Pakistan and across the region it will be unyielding in efforts to root out the scourge of terrorism.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s appalling terrorist attack in Lahore. This cowardly act in what has long been a scenic and placid park has killed dozens of innocent civilians and left scores injured,” said Ned Price, spokesman National Security Council, White House.
“We send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those killed, just as our thoughts and prayers are with the many injured in the explosion,” he said adding that the US stands with the people and the government of Pakistan at this difficult hour.
“We will continue to work with our partners in Pakistan and across the region, as together we will be unyielding in our efforts to root out the scourge of terrorism,” Price said.
The victims were also mourned by other notable voices from around the region, like Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and Nobel Peace Prizewinning education activist Malala Yousafzai. Mirza, who is married to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, termed the attack disgusting, while Yousafzai said she was devastated by the senseless killing of innocent people.
Thousands of netizens added their voices to the chorus of sadness and anger, even as hundreds of others reportedly thronged Lahore hospitals to donate blood for the more than 300 injured by the bombing. Many of them used the hashtag #PrayForPakistan.
Pakistan’s PM has urged better coordination between security agencies against terror, a day after a suicide bomb killed more than 70 in Lahore.
At a meeting of security officials, Nawaz Sharif said the nation’s resolve to deal with militants was growing.
A number of arrests were made and weapons seized in five raids by security forces, the army said.
The area was more crowded than usual, as members of Lahore’s minority Christian community had gathered to celebrate Easter at a funfair in the park.
However, most of those who died in the attack were Muslims.
At least one funeral, of 11-year-old Christian boy Sahil Pervez, was held on Monday.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a Taliban faction, has claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb attack in Lahore on Sunday that killed at least 65 people, saying its target was the countrys small Christian minority.
The target was Christians, said Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the faction. We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that we have entered Lahore. He can do what he wants but he wont be able to stop us. Our suicide bombers will continue these attacks.
PM Modi calls Nawaz, offers condolences
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called up his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and offered his “deep condolences” to the victims of the terror attack in Lahore, which has left at least 69 dead so far, mostly women and children.
“PM @narendramodi called Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif to express his deep condolences at the terrorist attack in #Lahore,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted.
“During the conversation, PM @narendramodi underlined the need for uncompromising efforts to fight against terrorism,” he said.
Earlier in the day PM Modi had taken to Twitter to condemn the blast.
“Heard about the blast in Lahore. I strongly condemn it. My condolences to families of the deceased & prayers with the injured,” PM Modi tweeted.
Bollywood celebs condemn barbaric attack
New Delhi: BTown took to their Twitter handles to condemn the inhuman suicide attack in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park of Allama Iqbal Town in Lahore on Sunday evening, killing at least 70 people and injuring almost over 250.
“The world seems to be infested with heartless sick people..heartbreaking news. My prayers to the families of the victims #LahoreBlast,” wrote Priyanka Chopra.
“Concerned about the blast in Lahore. Hope you and your loved ones are safe. My condolences to the victims of this horror,” tweeted Rishi Kapoor.
“Prayers and condolences for the families who lost their loved ones in Lahore. #LahoreAttack,” tweeted Emraan Hashmi.
“Anger, disgust…Whats the point of these senseless acts of violence? Condolences and prayers to the people of Pakistan! #PrayForLahore,” tweeted Sonakshi Sinha.
“Terrorism is no act of ANY faith..it’s a curse that must be lifted. Praying for you Lahore.,” wrote Sushmita Sen.
“My Thoughts and prayers to the families of #Lahore deeply upsetting and sad,Stop these Horrific senseless attacks !#PrayForLahore,” wrote Sidharth Malhotra.
“Thoughts and prayers with the people of #Lahore. Heart goes out to the innocent victims of this inhuman and cowardly act of terror.,” read Sekhar Ravjiani’s tweet.
“#Lahore , may you find strength. May love & humanity overcome fear & hatred someday, and may no child ever die like that again.,” wrote Vishal Dadlani.
“prayers for the tragic deaths& injuries in Lahore!! So so Sad & Horrible-lets all jointly pray this madness stops & people value life,” wrote Poonam dhillon.
“Terrible news out of #Lahore. My heart is breaking for families who lost their children. . #prayforlahore,” tweeted Hansika Motwani.
“Sad…heartfelt prayers for the families of the victims…,” wrote Sajid Khan.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.