Islamabad urges Canadian premier to step in to protect Muslim community.
Linking the fatal attack on a Muslim family in Canada to a growing wave of Islamophobia across the West, Pakistan’s prime minister on Tuesday urged the international community to act “holistically” to counter the rapidly rising phenomenon.
“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,” Imran Khan said on Twitter.
“Islamophobia needs to be countered holistically by the international community,” he added.
Four members of a Pakistani-origin Muslim family were killed when a pickup truck driver, 20-year-old Nathanial Veltman, intentionally plowed into them in London, Ontario on Sunday evening.
Another family member, a nine-year-old boy, survived the attack and is in hospital, where doctors have termed his condition serious but not life-threatening.
The names of the victims have not been released, but police said they were two women, aged 74 and 44, a 46-year-old man, and a 15-year-old girl.
The man hailed from Pakistan’s northeastern city of Lahore and was a professional physiotherapist, according to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The family had moved to Canada 14 years ago.
“This is a blatant act of terrorism,” Qureshi told local broadcaster Samaa News, urging Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “step in” to protect his country’s Muslim community.
This, he added, is a “test case” for the Canadian government and society.
He suggested that Trudeau should follow in the steps of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who earned global praise for her actions after the March 2019 shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, which left 51 worshippers dead and another 40 injured.