— Pakistan condemns attack, reaches out to high commission in NZ

— Info minister says Pakistan can ‘relate’ to attack on Bangladesh team 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday condemned the shootings at two mosques in New Zealand that claimed the lives of 40 people and injured more than 20.

The premier tweeted: “Shocked and [I] strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques. This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families.”

PM Imran asserted that he pinned the blame for these terror attacks on “current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam and 1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror [that is committed] by a Muslim”.

“This has been done deliberately to also demonize legitimate Muslim political struggles,” he added.

The Foreign Office (FO) on Friday condemned the shooting outside two mosques in New Zealand city of Christchurch which, reportedly claimed multiples lives.

Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal tweeted, “Pakistan condemns the tragic terrorist incident in New Zealand. Our high commission is in touch with the local authorities and trying to ascertain details.”

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has also condemned the heinous incident.

“FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi has condemned in strongest terms the tragic terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. FM has expressed condolences over [the] loss of innocent lives in the heinous attack,” Dr Mohammad Faisal, the FO spokesperson tweeted.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also expressed grief over the loss of innocent lives and said: “[The] hearts and soul of people of Pakistan are with the people of New Zealand.

“The Bangladesh Cricket Team [narrowly] escaped the attack. Pakistan suffered [the] same situation years back and can feel [and] relate to the pain and misery,” he added.

Witnesses told media that a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle had started randomly shooting people in the Al Noor mosque.

The Bangladesh cricket team was arriving for prayers when the shooting occurred but all members were safe, a team coach told Reuters. “This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”

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