Tragedy in Lahore

AP+Photo%2FK.M.+Chaudary

AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary

On Sunday, March 27, 2016, a bomb exploded in a neighborhood park in Lahore, Pakistan, inevitably killing at least 69 people and leaving more than 341 others injured. Killing mostly women and children, the suicide bombing tore through the park, targeted at Christians by a splinter group of the Pakistan Taliban. The Easter Sunday gave these terrorists a motivation to target a park where they knew Christians would be celebrating.

Many witnesses have explained to the press and news sources what truly happened on the battlegrounds of the Gulshan Iqbal Park on the evening of Easter Sunday. One Danish witness testified to the chaos within the park: “There was suddenly a big blast. Everyone panicked, running to all directions. Many of them were blocked at the gate of the park. Dead bodies can be found everywhere.” Another witness – a Christian man by the name of Sohail who was at the park at the time of the explosion with his wife and four children – stated, “I went to get groceries, but my children insisted that it was the last day of their school holidays so I should take them to Iqbal Par, which I did.” Sohail’s six-year old son is now in critical condition and is undergoing surgery.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had a straightforward response to the bombing that occurred at Iqbar Park on the evening of Easter Sunday. Sharif condemned the blast and met with law enforcement and intelligence officials this past Monday. He explained, “Our goal is not only to eliminate terror infrastructure but also the extremist mindset, which is a threat to our way of life. I want more proactive coordination between law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Provinces should speed up intelligence-based operations against terrorists. We must take this war to the doors of terrorist outfits before they are able to hit our innocent countrymen.” He also stated in a televised address that his government would not allow terrorists to “play with Pakistani lives.”

A variety of responses from nations all over the world followed the suicide bombing. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop stated, “As Christians worldwide celebrate Easter, a shocking terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan, reminds us that terrorism is a global scourge.” The Australian government showed sentiment and expressed their condolences to the people of Pakistan and its government at this time. United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, strongly condemned the actions of the Taliban and stressed that the UN would continue to support the government of Pakistan in its fight against terror. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has worked to thaw the icy relations between the two neighbors, called Sharif on Sunday to express his grief over the bombing.

Ensanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the splinter group of Pakistan Taliban, vowed that attacks such as the bombing would continue. Parks in the city have been closed, and Pakistanians remain traumatized by such a horrific event.