The 15th March 2020 marked one year since the Christchurch mosque shootings. Pakistani peace walker, Kharalzad Kasrat Rai’s peace walk from Wellington to Christchurch (5 to 15 March 2020) coincided with the first anniversary of Christchurch attacks. He finished his walk at Al Noor Mosque, where a majority of Muslims were martyred last year during Friday prayers.
On this occasion a welcome ceremony was organised by Pakistani Association of Canterbury in New Zealand immediately after Zohar prayer. On behalf of New Zealand government, Minister Megan Wood welcomed the Pakistani peace walker and appreciated his gesture for peace and tribute to Christchurch victims. Deputy Mayor of Christchurch city council was also present on the occasion.
High Commissioner of Pakistan H.E. Dr Abdul Malik specially went to Christchurch for the event. He welcomed Kharalzada Kasrat Rai and congratulated him on the completion of his peace walk. The High Commissioner said that Kasrat Rai’s walk was aimed at sending a message of peace as well as to express solidarity on behalf of all Pakistanis with New Zealanders who suffered the worst terrorist attacks on their soil last year. He added that this heroic feat of Mr. Rai could not have been possible without support from the Pakistani community in New Zealand. He said that their support to the peace cause not only helped spread a message of love and peace among New Zealanders but also contributed toward building a positive image of Pakistan in New Zealand.
During his visit to Christchurch, High Commissioner also met with some families of the Shuhada and assured them of full support and help from the Government of Pakistan.
Earlier, on 14 March 2020 the High Commissioner also participated in an event organised by Pakistani community at Napier city to commemorate the first anniversary of Christchurch Shuhuads.
It may be noted that the official ceremony for remembrance of Christchurch attacks victims was to be held in Christchurch on 15 March but due to threat of COVID 19 spread it was canceled by the New Zealand Govemment.