A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up inside a 130-year-old church in Peshawar after a Sunday Mass. The Daily Dawn reported that over 80 people were killed in the horrendous attack.
They (Christians) are the enemies of Islam, therefore we target them. We will continue our attacks on non-Muslims on Pakistani land.
In the town of Gojra in Punjab province in 2009, Islamists burned 77 houses and killed eight Christians after rumors that a copy of the Islamic holy book the Qur’an had been desecrated (see GV article). In another case Christian’s girl Rimsha Masih was arrested by Pakistani police in August 2012 (GV report) who potentially faced the death penalty for blasphemy under Pakistan's blasphemy law for allegedly desecrating pages of the Qur’an.
According to a 2011 report of US Commission on International Religious Freedom, minorities of Pakistan are in the line of fire. USCIRF also published timeline of attacks on Christians in the country during the past decade.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is functioning in Peshawar (KPK province). PTI chief Imran khan supports negotiations with Taliban, but after attack in this PTI vote bank province, peace process may be haulted.
Reactions on social media to the attack on church was loud.
Kristina Yn wrote in Let Us Build Pakistan (LubPak) Blog, in a post titled: Peshawar Church Bombing Culprits: Taliban or Us?
Whenever I have condemned such atrocities on the social media the strongest response I have received is that I am trying to defame Pakistan. That I am anti Pakistani. And the biggest of all is that I am anti Islam. I was shocked to see my very own friends who have known me for half their lives say this to me just because I stood up for justice and equality for a human being that too my own country fellow.
Rick Moran wrote at American Thinker’s blog:
Could the Pakistani government do more to protect Chirstians, Shias, and other religious minorities? Of course they can. They are great at giving lip service to ecumenism, but when it comes time to demonstrate their commitment to religious freedom, they drop the ball. Like Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood, pretty words about protecting Christians were made hollow by radical preachers stirring up the population against the Copts.
Famous Pakistani journalist Dr Shahid Masood (@Shahidmasooddr) wrote in a tweet:
We must strike terrorists with Iron Fists BUT Dialogue Process Should be Continued with those who want Peace! #PeshawarChurchBlast
— Dr Shahid Masood (@Shahidmasooddr) September 22, 2013
Sadanand Dhume (@dhume), columnist of WSJ cracked a joke on father of the nation Jinnah’s ideology. Anti-Taliban and secular activist Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) replied to him criticizing Jinnah’s ideology:
Jinnah was lying and he knew he was lying @dhume. He is primarily responsible for the rise of Islamist nationalism sweeping the world today
— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) September 22, 2013
A Baloch patriotic and Daily Times columnist Mir Muhammad Ali Talpur (@mmatalpur) tweeted:
— Mohammad Ali Talpur (@mmatalpur) September 22, 2013
Journalist of Express News Pakistan, Buhran Chaudhry (@burhan_fawad) commented:
If Christions are killed 4 being non muslim then, Muslims should be killed 4 being non Christions – Justice 4 all #PeshawarChurchBlast
— Burhan Chaudhry (@burhan_fawad) September 23, 2013
Fatima Aziz (@Fatie) wrote in twitter that:
— Fatima Aziz (@Fatie) September 23, 2013
I dont think so k yh Taliban ny kya ha agencies ho sakti han taky muzakrat na hn #PeshawarChurchBlast
— Arbaaz Butt (@ItsBazi) September 23, 2013
I don’t think that Taliban attacked in church, maybe agencies of Pakistan done this as they don’t like negotiations. #PeshawarChurchBlast”
Anon Pak (@Anonpak) wrote that:
It's funny how Islamists can kill their own countrymen and call it a retaliation against drone strikes. #PeshawarChurchBlast
— Anon Pak (@Anonpak) September 23, 2013
Moin Warraich (@moinwarraich) wrote on Xia’s timeline that the Pakistan army is unable to fight against the Taliban:
— Moin Warraich (@moinwarraich) September 23, 2013
Student of Iqra University, Fahad Khan (@MrFahadKhan) demanded protection of Christians in many cities of Punjab province of Pakistan.
The Christian community also protested in Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, Sahiwal, Mandi Bahuddin and Hafizabad. #PeshawarChurchBlast
— Fahad Khan (@MrFahadKhan) September 23, 2013
Zarmina (@ZarminaF) commented:
The white on the Pakistan flag getting redder by the day. So disturbed by #PeshawarChurchBlast, what kind of animals do we breed?
— Zarmina (@ZarminaF) September 23, 2013
Peshawar’s Aves (@ZamanKheil) wrote that:
I strongly condemn the shameful act committed yesterday by terrorists in #PeshawarChurchBlast Pakistanis died and we should mourn the lost!!
— Aves (@ZamanKheil) September 23, 2013
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Afghan president Hamid Karzai and The US Commission on International Religious Freedom condemned this attack.