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Sadness turns into great hope at two memorials for Peshawar attack in London.

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Wilson Chowdhry prayed for succour for the families of victims of Pakistan's most recent brutal attack before placing a candle on the altar.

Mourners gathered in London to share a moment of reflection on the tragic killing of over 80 school children, their teachers and protectors in Peshawar yesterday.  The brutal attack which involved six Taliban insurgents armed with guns and grenades, sent shock-waves across the globe.  

In a show of solidarity around 150 Pakistanis gathered at the High Commission of Pakistan, a marquee was set up by the High Commission to help people grieve together, under a shelter. The High Commissioner of Pakistan Syed Ibne Abbas opened the event and spoke of the tragic loss and the need for all Pakistani's to unite against terrorism. He lit a candle at a designated altar for the victims, at the fore of the marquee. Visitors were also asked to light offered candles in remembrance of the unfortunate victims.  In an emotion-filled atmosphere tears where shed uniformly throughout the enclosure.

BPCA close Muslim friend and supporter Tariq Mahmood said;

"This was an extremely violent attack, one that has no basis in Islam and no mandate from any Pakistani's, the Taliban have shown their true colours."

Wilson Chowdhry Chairman of the BPCA said;

"It was touching to see so many people gathered in solidarity against extremism.  Many Pakistanis came from far afield including places like Birmingham and Manchester, simply to voice condemnation of a brutal unwarranted attack, whilst also declaring their unity against forces of tyranny."

After the meeting Chairman Wilson Chowdhry drove to Trafalgar Square taking six Muslims humanitarian friends to a silent peace vigil.  Over 1000 people had gathered mostly those with Pakistani origins, however there were significant numbers of visitors from other communities.  A candlelight memorial had been set up before the steps of the National Gallery.  However due to the earlier memorial held at the Pakistan High Commission Mr Chowdhry could not get close enough to place his flowers or candle at the designated altar.



Wilson Chowdhry stood up a BPCA pop-up banner and placed his flowers and some candles before it in private reflection for the victims, aiming to illustrate that Pakistani Christians were in solidarity with their Muslim counterparts.  However, within minutes the private memorial became a coming together of people united in grief over the tragic attack.

Mr Chowdhry said;

"I was overwhelmed by the unity and passion for one another and the victims, that was illustrated by visitors to the memorial.  Muslim brothers and sisters were happy to join hands with me the lone Pakistani Christian in a positive declaration of solidarity."

He added;

"This attack was one of the worst mass killings in the history of Pakistan, the targeting of vulnerable unprotected children illustrates the desperation felt by the Taliban, who are losing their war of terror.  By murdering and butchering such young lives they have placed an even deeper wedge between them and the people whose support they hoped to garner.  I believe the last vestiges of support they had will have waned to their lowest ebb."  

Wilson Chowdhry called for better protection of the people from Peshawar;

"The people of Peshawar close to the border with Afghanistan, have been subjected to great tyranny from the Taliban for many years and live in terror and fear of the next attack.  Pakistani forces must increase protection and vigilance.  Simply wearing a police or military uniform should not be an immediate pass into vulnerable areas, full identity checks should be mandatory and strategic stop and search zones initiated.  Moreover, the eradication of Taliban forces must be made a priority for too many years they have usurped authority from the sovereign nation of Pakistan."


Images of victims helped focus people's reflections.

 
A Muslim visitor placed her candle before the BPCA altar leading to many others following suit.


Thousands turned up at the Trafalgar Square memorial

The BPCA altar grew in size.


Wilson Chowdhry of the BPCA joined by several Muslim humanitarians.


Our banner became a rallying point for solidarity.


The BPCA initial offering to victims of the Peshawar attack.

Trafalgar Square was full of mourners


Mourners came together in solidarity.

A small but moving offering.






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