By Ayyaz Gulzar
The Catholic Church has joined protests condemning a NATO attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month.
Holding pro army banners and national flags, more than 50 protesters from several Catholic institutions, including two priests and 10 friars, shouted slogans, prayed and lit candles for the “faithful martyrs” at the press club inKarachion December 2.
The protest was organized by the Catholic bishops’ conference’s National Commission for Justice and Peace.
The more than 50 protestors expressed outrage at what they called was an attack on country’s sovereignty and demanded justice for the affected families.
NATO helicopters attacked two Pakistan border posts on November 26, killing 24 soldiers.
The attack prompted Pakistan to pull out of talks this week in Bonn to discuss neighboring Afghanistan’s future, block NATO supply routes to the war torn country, and to demand the US leave a remote airbase used for drone flights.
“It is time to take our airbases back from foreign armies. The government should press for a transparent investigation into the NATO raid,” a NCJP statement said.
“We support our army; we shall sacrifice everything for our homeland and no longer stay silent”, said Father Thomas Gulfam general secretary of the Heralds of Peace, an interfaith group.
Father Abid Habib, president of the Major Superiors Leadership Conference of Pakistan, said the cost in civilian lives because of the war against the Taliban is unacceptable.
“The war on terror has killed over 30,000 civilians and there are many miles to go in a conflict that is not ours,” he said.