Christchurch terrorist attack: National flag to fly half-mast at all buildings on Monday

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani flag will remain half-mast at all national buildings on Monday to mourn the deaths of Pakistanis who were martyred, among others, in the terrorist attacks on mosques in New Zealand.

Addressing a news briefing in Islamabad on Sunday, he said the Prime Minister has also decided that martyred Mian Naeem Rashid will be given national award on 23rd of March this year for his heroic struggle against the white supremacist terrorist during the attack.

The Minister said he made a contact with his Turkish counterpart and it has been decided to convene an emergency meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on 22nd of this month in Istanbul. He said Turkey being chair of the council floated the idea and Pakistan has seconded it.

During the meeting, efforts will be made to unify the Ummah and devise a strategy to know the root causes of growing Islamophobia in West and its implications for Muslims around the world. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he will represent Pakistan in the meeting.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he spoke to New Zealand Foreign Minister on telephone in length who said the assailant attacked two mosques and the whole act continued for 36 minutes.

He said the identification of bodies was a complicated and difficult process but all of them have been identified and from tomorrow the process of handing these over to relatives will start. The New Zealand Foreign Minister further told that investigation is being held on the motives of terrorist.

The Foreign Minister said casualties of Pakistanis stand at 10 and one of them is a critically injured person who is undergoing treatment at ICU. He said fifty people were martyred in this tragic incident.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan High Commission in New Zealand is making all out efforts for affected Pakistanis in that country. He said families of six martyred want to bury them in New Zealand while three have expressed wish to bury their dead in Pakistan.

He said he will leave for China tonight to attend Pak China Strategic Dialogue and to talk on other issues of bilateral importance. Shah Mehmood Qureshi said China has time and again proved that it is a sincere friend of Pakistan. He said more consultations will be held with China on future course of events in the region.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he will write a letter to all parliamentary leaders in order to take them into confidence on further progress in implementation of National Action Plan.

He said the leaders will be invited for a meeting on 28th of this month at the parliament house in Islamabad to seek their opinions and guidance on the way to move forward, in the backdrop of post Pulwama developments.

He said he held telephonic contacts with PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif who have assured their cooperation on all issues of national interest and security.