Students and members of Winnipeg’s Pakistani community held a vigil on the steps of the Manitoba legislature Sunday to honour the victims of Friday’s deadly attack at a school in Pakistan.
Twelve people were killed and another 35 were injured when militants stormed a provincial government complex for agricultural research in northwest Pakistan Friday.
Six of the dead were students.
“These terrorists are cowards targeting schools,” said Ashas Irfan, president of the University of Manitoba’s Pakistani Student Association, which helped to organize Sunday’s vigil. “We wanted to gather here to deliver out a strong message across the world that no matter where you come from, or what religion you follow, we all stand united against terrorism and terrorists.
“These terrorists think they’re doing it for a good cause but we all know what their motives are behind all of this — they’re disrupting the image of my country and the peace of my country.”
Pakistani police say three attackers clad in women’s burqas reached the school’s gate in a rickshaw and opened fire to clear their way to the building.
Taliban militant group, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, has claimed responsibility saying the place they attacked was housing a secret intelligence office, something that Pakistani officials have refuted.
A comparatively small number of students and others were present in the typically crowded complex at the time of the attack because Friday was a holiday — the day when Muslims celebrate the birthday of the prophet Muhammad. T
The attack was third major one on educational institutions in the country’s northwest in recent years. In 2014, militants attacked an army-run school in Peshawar killing more than 150 people, mostly school children. In the adjacent town of Charsadda in 2016, militants attacked Bacha Khan University, named after a secular leader, killing more than 20 students.
‘We need the world to stand with us’
Irfan, who has family members living in Pakistan, says Friday’s attack and the previous ones like it have left Pakistanis living in a state of near constant fear.
“They’re really worried about their children,” he said. “Because their children go to school as well, so what would happen if something happened to their children?
“After this incident it would be very difficult to go about their daily things.”
The attack came over a…