Cowardly terrorist atrocity on Easter Sunday evening of 2016 at a children park Gulshan-e-Iqbal Allama Iqbal Town in Lahore left over 70 children, women and men dead and scores injured.
A candlelight vigil was organised by citizens in the North West of the UK to show solidarity with the victims and mourn the unnecessary loss of life. I was humbled by the number of people from across different religious, ethnic and national backgrounds who attended despite terrible weather conditions. Councillor Paul Murphy OBE Lord Mayor of Manchester, Tony Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner and interim Mayor of Greater Manchester, Rt.Hon. Sajjad Haider Karim MEP and many other representatives joined in a message of common grief and resolve that terrorism will not break us apart as a community.
It was a sobering ceremony conducted by Sajid Qazi Community Welfare Consular, and Consul General Dr Zahoor Ahmed in Manchester.
Tony Lloyd's words sum up what every speaker at the vigil iterated:
“The Easter terrorist attacks in Lahore were reprehensible. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives. We think also of those who have been injured and those who witnessed this terrible attack, many of whom are children.
From Greater Manchester, to Brussels, to Lahore, we are all part of one, great global community.
We share the heartbreak of those who are mourning today, we reach out a hand of friendship and solidarity, and we send a message of hope and strength.
That message is simple – those who seek to divide us through fear and violence will never succeed. Together we are stronger than the terrorists will ever be.”
|Aftermath of the explosion in Lahore|
|Mr Iqbal Siddiqui of Pakistan Community Centre Manchester lighting the candles|
|Amna Ahmed, a member of civil society in Timperley along with a large number of ladies attended the vigil|
|Tony Lloyd interim Mayor of Manchester and Police and Crime Commissioner, Consul General Pakistan Dr Zahoor Ahmed, Sajjad Haider Karim MEP< Counsellor Paul Murphy Lord Mayor of Manchester, Father FalakShair|
|Counsellor Naeem-ul-Hassan, ex Lord Mayor of Manchester lighting the candles|
|Counsellor Paul Murphy Lord Mayor of Manchester and Dr Zahoor Hassan Consul General of Pakistan in Manchester|
|Counsellor RabNawaz Akbar lighting the candles|
|Tony Lloyd Police and Crime Commissioner and interim Mayor of Manchester speaking to the audience|
|Counsellor Paul Murphy Lord Mayor of Manchester addressing the audience|
|Sajjad Haider Karim MEP addressing the audience|