2nd Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 149, Issue 141
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
The Honourable Leo Housakos, Speaker
Bus Attack in Karachi
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today with a very heavy heart. Very early this morning, I awoke to the news that 43 innocent Ismaili Muslims who were riding a bus in Karachi, Pakistan, were senselessly gunned down by six armed individuals who were dressed in police uniforms. They were my brothers and sisters in faith.
Sixty-two people were on the bus on their way to a community centre when the gunmen boarded after cutting off the bus with their motorcycles. Once inside, the gunmen shot indiscriminately at the men, women and children. When the gunmen left, an injured individual drove the bus to a nearby hospital. By the time they arrived at the hospital, most of the passengers had died.
His Highness the Aga Khan, my spiritual leader, stated:
This attack represents a senseless act of violence against a peaceful community. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families of those killed and wounded in the attack.
Other leaders across Pakistan have expressed their absolute shock at this attack on the Ismaili Muslim community. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, called it “a deplorable attempt to spread chaos in Pakistan.”
Honourable senators, the Ismaili Muslim community is one of the most peaceful and charitable communities in Pakistan. They are involved in a number of development projects across the country and work in all segments of society. Their roots in Pakistan are very deep, as they have inhabited that area of the world for hundreds of years. While the community is small, their positive impact on Pakistan is tremendous.
As an Ismaili Muslim and as a Canadian, my heart breaks for the victims of this attack and for their families. Many of those killed had Canadian family members. I understand that one Canadian has lost his father, mother and brother. I know you join me in sending our condolences to those Canadians. I know this chamber will join me in condemning this abhorrent attack on innocent individuals in Pakistan.
As mine are, I know your thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones in Pakistan and Canada. Thank you.