Image of amber Saroya with bomb survivor Suneel Masih.
Six senior police officers and seven civillians were killed after a sucide bomb was detonated outside the Punjab Assembly in Lahore at 6pm Pakistan
time (UK 12pm) Monday 13th February.
A further 85 people were seriously wounded including a Christian man named Suneel Masih (27 years) who was working as a sound engineer at a protest
that was underway.
It is believed that security forces were the main target of the attack and already Islamic extremism group Jamat-e-Islam has already claimed responsibility
for the detonation.
Apparently, a large group of chemists and pharmaceutical manufacturers were gathered in front of the provincial assembly to protest a government crackdown
against the sale of illegal drugs. There was a significant presence of law enforcers in the area while the protest was ongoing. Up to 400 people had
attended the protest.
Rescue services, including ambulances and fire attendants, reached the scene soon after the attack. An emergency was also
declared in all hospitals of Lahore. However the majority of the casualties were shifted to Mayo Hospital and Ganga Ram Hospital.
The explosion has raised the security risk status in Lahore to 'High alert' and schools and public buildings have seen a significant increase in security
provision since the attack.
Our Lahore based officer Ambar Saroya met with Suneel Masih to learn about the incident. He said:
"It was a terrifying incident. I heard a large bang and the force threw me to the floor... a few moments later I realized I could not move my legs and had a severe pain in my back. I could see my blood spilling away and thought I was going to die.
"I could hear a cacophony of screams and people ran to assist the injured. I was bundled into a vehicle and taken to a local hospital. There I discovered I might never walk again and I pray that this will not be the case. I plead to Christians everywhere to pray for my recovery as I have two small children to raise."
Amber provided food and flowers to victims and offered and offered to pray for Christians and Muslims alike. Many Muslim's accepted Amber's prayers and expressed great thanks for our visit.
Suneel Masih has asked for help for the living expenses of his wife Shazia (25 years) and their two small boys one of whom is 5 years old and the other two years old. Their monthly needs which include, food, school costs and rent amount to £220 per month. Suneel is the only breadwinner for his family and his work will not compensate him while he is off work. Suneel will have ongoing medical expenses and physiotherapy costs that will amount to an estimated £200 per month, for at least six months. Please help us raise the necessary funds to assist Suneel and his family. If you wish to donate please (click here)
Ambar Saroya BPCA's local officer, said:
"This was the first time I have visited a hospital after a bomb attack. I could hear groans and screams of pain throughout Ganga Ram hospital - it filled me with great terror. The man that carried out this lethal and devastating attack must have had no heart or mind, he was just a killing machine. He should be condemned by all."
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:
"It is a sad reality of Pakistan that extremism is now pervading all elements of society. You cannot recognize an extremist - there is no distinctive identification. This makes it hard for security forces to trace the terrorists in their midst, especially suicide bombers in public spaces.
"However, investigative forces should be doing more to root out the problem before they have a chance for such devastation. It is remarkable that thousands of arrests took place after the Gulshan Park attack, rather then before the explosion that occurred on Easter Day last year. This suggests that many of the perpetrators would have been known before the incident.
"Pakistan will not be able to win this war against terror by increasing and improving their security forces alone. They must start to address the madrassah education, the extremist ideology promulgated by mosques and the Islamic bias within the state's own education system and national curriculum.
"The people of Pakistan have been brainwashed for long enough and if peace is to ensue greater focus must be placed on improving the next generation of citizens. Failure to act will not only continue the demise of the nation but will lead to anarchy in country that has already reached a nadir.
"I will continue to pay for the nation of Pakistan which desperately needs God's protection and peace."