Mumbai attacks sadden PakistanisNovember 27th, 2008 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, Nov 27 (IANS) Pakistanis watched with despair and sorrow as images of the Mumbai terror attacks were played out by local television channels Thursday, even as they strongly condemned terrorism in the neighbouring country.Almost all leading channels showed live footage from Mumbai and also telecast Prime Minister Manmohan Sigh’s address to the Indian nation live. “This is so sad that this region is in the grip of violence and terrorism,” Shamim Bano, a student of the Quaid-e-Azam University, told IANS.
She said her mother was in tears after seeing the horrible incident on television. People remained glued to their TV sets throughout the day and were seen visibly sad over the deaths of more than 100 people.
The channels also interviewed two Pakistani cricket players - Kamran Akmal and Sohail Tanveer - who are in Mumbai for the upcoming Twenty20 Champions League. “Thank God we are safe and sound and were away from the hotels that were attacked,” Akmal told GEO television.
Several Indian journalists from Mumbai also appeared on Pakistani televisions to detail the latest situation.
“This is unprecedented, the way Pakistani television channels presented details of the incidents and the way Pakistani people reacted to it,” Abdul Hameed told IANS, adding that since the partition of the sub-continent in 1947, he had never seen such sympathy among Pakistanis for the Indians.
“This is all because of the media that people in both the countries have developed likeness for each other,” he opined.
Pakistani leaders, both from the ruling coalition and the opposition, also strongly condemned the killings.
President Asif Ali Zardari, while condemning the blasts and firing, called for strict measures to deal with terrorism. “President Zardari stressed the need for taking strict measures to eradicate terrorism and extremism from the region,” a brief message issued by the ministry of information said.
It said that Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Thursday strongly condemned the terrorist attacks.
In their separate messages, Zardari and Gilani deplored the tragic incidents.
“Prime Minister Gilani urged the need for concerted efforts to make the region a peaceful place to live,” said the message.
Former prime minister and head of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif also condemned the blasts, saying both countries need sincere efforts to deal with the growing terrorism.
“I am saddened to know that so many people were killed and injured in the terrorism…my sympathies are with the Indian people and particularly with the bereaved families,” he said in a message.
An official of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad said that the mission has received a number of messages and phone calls to condemn the blasts and firing incidents. “We are thankful to the (Pakistani) people for expressing their sympathies,” the official told IANS.
Raees Khan, a shopkeeper in Islamabad’s posh Jinnah Super Market, said that almost all visitors to his shops were talking of the Mumbai incident and felt sorry for it.