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Modi appeals for 2 minutes of silence in schools for Peshawar victims

Last updated on: December 17, 2014 00:11 IST

Sharing Pakistan’s “pain” in the wake of the "dastardly" terror attack in a Peshawar school, Prime Minister Narendra Modi late Tuesday night spoke to his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on phone offering "deepest condolences and all assistance" in the hour of grief.

As a mark of solidarity with Pakistan, Modi appealed to all schools in India to observe 2 minutes of silence on Wednesday for the "senseless act of unspeakable brutality" in Peshawar, where terrorists attacked a school and 141 massacred people, almost all of them children, terming the incident as an "assault against the entire humanity".

Modi told Sharif that "this terrible tragedy has shaken the conscience of the world" and "that this moment of shared pain and mourning is also a call for our two countries and all those who believe in humanity to join hands to decisively and comprehensively defeat terrorism so that the children in Pakistan, India and elsewhere do not have to face a future darkened by the lengthening shadow of terrorism." 

Breaking the news of his telephonic conversation with Sharif, Modi tweeted "Spoke to PM Nawaz Sharif over the telephone; offered my deepest condolences on the dastardly terror attack in Peshawar.” 

Asserting that India stands firmly with Pakistan in fight against terror, he wrote on the microblogging site, “Told PM Sharif we are ready to provide all assistance during this hour of grief.” 

"In the wake of dastardly attack in Pakistan, I appeal to schools across India to observe 2 mins of silence tomorrow as a mark of solidarity", Modi said in another tweet. 

In a statement, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akabruddin said PM Modi spoke to Sharif late in the

evening soon after the Pakistan PM returned from Peshawar to Islamabad said "this savage killing of innocent children, who are the epitome of the finest human values, in a temple of learning was not only an attack against Pakistan but an assault against the entire humanity."

"At a time when the world is getting disturbingly accustomed to acts of terror," Modi said, "this terrible tragedy has shaken the conscience of the world". 

Modi, according to Akbaruddin, told Sharif that "the people of India shared the heart-rending pain and sorrow of the bereaved families and the people of Pakistan and stood with them in solidarity in this hour of immeasurable grief.” 

"He also hoped that the children who had witnessed the horrific attack and loss of their friends would come through this trauma through counselling".

Modi told Sharif "that this moment of shared pain and mourning is also a call for our two countries and all those who believe in humanity to join hands to decisively and comprehensively defeat terrorism, so that the children in Pakistan, India and elsewhere do not have to face a future darkened by the lengthening shadow of terrorism," said Akbaruddin.

Earlier in the day, the prime minister tweeted ’Strongly condemn the cowardly terrorist attack at a school in Peshawar. It is a senseless act of unspeakable brutality that has claimed lives of the most innocent of human beings -- young children in their school.”

He said his heart goes out to everyone who lost their loved ones today. “We share their pain & offer our deepest condolences”.

Image: A man lights candles to mourn the victims from the Army Public School in Peshawar, which was attack by Taliban gunmen, in Karachi.
Photograph: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

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