Christian community mourns targeted killing of pastor in Peshawar

Islamabad: The Peshawar Christian community has closed all educational institutions and churches after a pastor was shot dead by armed assailants.

According to details shared by law enforcement authorities, William Siraj, who was a pastor at a church within the confines of Chamkani police station, was with his fellow priest in the Ring Road area on Sunday when the unknown assailants opened the door. fire.

Siraj died at the scene, while the priest accompanying him was later taken to Lady Reading Hospital.

“The incident happened near Ring Road within the confines of Gulbahar Police Station. A large contingent of police officers had arrived at the scene and a search operation was carried out. Evidence was collected from the scene crime and CCTV cameras are also checked,” said a statement released by law enforcement authorities.

“The body had been transferred to hospital for an autopsy while further investigation was underway.”

According to the first details of the investigation, at least two assailants were involved in the incident, which the police described as a terrorist attack.

“The attack on the Christian community was tragic. A thorough investigation has been launched. You could say that members of the minority community were targeted. So it was a terrorist act,” said Abbas Ahsan, the capital police officer (CCPO).

“We are determined to protect minorities. A team consisting of officials from the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and Peshawar Police had been formed to investigate the case,” he added.

The attack is of significant significance as the Christian community, which lives in various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has not faced any major threat in the past.

“Terrorism that targets anyone, especially for their faith, is heinous and must be fought with the full force of clear and concerted policy and state power. No compromise, no equivocation,” said Senator Sherry Rehman, leader of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

The attack raised several questions about the growing intolerance against religious minorities in Pakistan.

Recent reports have indicated that the level of intolerance of religious extremist groups has increased in the country, raising serious concerns about the competence and capabilities of Imran Khan’s government to ensure the safety and security of minorities in the country. .

IANS

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