Pakistanis in New York hold candle light vigil for Mumbai victims

December 14th, 2008 - 11:03 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Dec 14 (IANS) Members of the Pakistani community in New York held a candle light peace vigil to express their solidarity with the people of India, in particular the victims of the Mumbai terror strikes. “We are here to express solidarity with the victims of the Mumbai attack and with the people of India,” said Sahar Shafqat at the peace vigil Saturday evening. She teaches at St Mary’s College in Maryland and travelled specially to New York to attend the event.

More than 170 people were killed in the terror attack in Mumbai in the last week of November. India says the terrorists were Pakistani nationals and has demanded that Islamabad take action against those responsible for the carnage.

Most of the Pakistani community who participated in the vigil at Union Square were academicians and professionals.

“We are urging both India and Pakistan to work together to defeat the menace of terrorism,” said Saadia Toor, assistant professor of Sociology at a City College in New York. One of the main organisers of the event, she and some of her Pakistani friends from academics have come together to form Action for a Progressive Pakistan.

A result of post-26/11, Action for a Progressive Pakistan (APP) is committed to ensuring peace, democracy and development in South Asia, Toor said.

Condemning the terrorists attack in Mumbai, APP in a statement later urged the governments of Pakistan and India to work together in bringing the perpetrators of this heinous act to justice.

“We maintain that to ensure peace and security in the region, the world community must support Pakistan’s democratic institutions. This support must also include development assistance geared towards addressing the needs of Pakistan’s poor,” APP said.

Displaying posters, participants of the peace vigil also urged the United States to end the airstrikes inside Pakistani territories. These are contributing greatly to the destabilization of the region and causing hardships for innocent civilians, it said.

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