This condemnable act of terrorism reveals the growing Islamophobia in Western countries, said Pakistan Prime Minister
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday expressed grief at and denounced the killing of a Muslim Pakistani-origin Canadian family in London, Ontario.
Four members of a Muslim family of Pakistan origin, who were out for a walk on Sunday evening, were killed after a pickup truck driver intentionally plowed into them in London, Ontario. There was no apparent reason behind the inhuman act and brutal killing of the family except their faith.
Imran Khan has tweeted about the incident and condemned the attack. “Saddened to learn of the killing of a Muslim Pakistani-origin Canadian family in London, Ontario. This condemnable act of terrorism reveals the growing Islamophobia in Western countries. Islamophobia needs to be countered holistically by the international community, ” Imran Khan said.
Saddened to learn of the killing of a Muslim Pakistani-origin Canadian family in London, Ontario. This condemnable act of terrorism reveals the growing Islamophobia in Western countries. Islamophonia needs to be countered holistically by the international community.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 8, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also took to Twitter to condemn the incident, saying three generations of Pakistani-Canadians had been killed for their faith.
3 generations of Pakistani-Canadians were killed in a brutal act of mass murder for their Muslim faith. This is an act of terror rooted in unspeakable hatred & Islamophobia.
Extend our deepest sympathy to the family members & pray for recovery of the only survivor; a little boy.
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) June 8, 2021
According to reports, the minister in a separate statement said the incident was a “test case for the Canadian government and society.” He went on to add that the Canadian government must play its due role in restoring the confidence and protection of the Muslims residing in the country.
Pakistan Foreign Minister also informed that the Pakistani Consul General in Toronto established contact with the relatives of the victim family who lost their lives in the tragic incident.
The relatives, he added, were offered facilitation in terms of transportation of the bodies, however, it was informed that the burial had been planned to take place in Canada. The foreign minister appealed to Pakistanis residing in Canada to show solidarity to the heirs of those affected.
Detective Superintendent Paul Waight of the London police department told reporters that “There is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act, motivated by hate.”
“We believe the victims were targeted because of their Islamic faith,” Waight said.
Veltman, a resident of London who was arrested after the incident, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. He is due back in court on Thursday after being remanded to custody on Monday, according to media reports.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter that he was “horrified” by the news, adding that “Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hate is insidious and despicable – and it must stop.”
Though Police have not released the victims’ names, but the London Free Press said that among the dead were Syed Afzaal, 46, his wife, Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter, Yumnah Afzaal. Syed Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother, whose name has not been confirmed, also died. Their 9-year-old son, Faez Afzaal, is in the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to Associated Press.
The family immigrated from Pakistan about 14 years ago, according to the local media reports.