Ilford Pakistani Christian group help ‘heal’ Lahore terror attack victims
PUBLISHED: 13:02 30 March 2016 | UPDATED: 16:05 30 March 2016
A man who lost family members in terror attacks targeting Christians in Pakistan has spoken after the “brutal” bombing.
British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) chairman Wilson Chowdhry, 42, from Ilford, whose wife’s two teenage cousins were killed in the blasts in Lahore said the group is paying for hospital treatment and counselling.
The attacks on Easter Sunday killed at least 72 people after a bomb went off in a park where Christians had organised a funfair.
At least 29 victims were children and another 300 people were left injured, with the death toll expected to rise.
“The extremists themselves have demonstrated that this was targeted at Christians,” said Mr Chowdhry. “I’m still shocked.
“It’s about trying to heal the victims – we’re praying for them, we’re providing hospital treatment and trauma counselling.
“I feel for the families, it’s so brutal, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.
“We believe we will be reunited with God after death but that doesn’t take away the pain and anguish now and we have to intervene as Christians.”
Mr Chowdhry said his group is not about attacking Muslims but about finding solutions to extremism in Pakistan.
“We need to see changes in the way the Pakistani government operates and tackles extremism,” said the businessman, who insisted tensions between Pakistani Muslims and Christians did not exist here in Britain.
“This is a Pakistani issue,” he said. “We have been lobbying their government to introduce better security measures, despite this and the work of other humanitarian groups, the Pakistani government has failed to protect people during the celebration of Easter.”
The latest attack on the community, which makes up about 1.6 per cent of Pakistan’s population, comes after two bombs went off at a church in Peshawar in 2013, leaving about 80 people dead.
Mr Chowdhry said: “There’s great sorrow and anger at the same time, but it’s about bringing these people to justice.”
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