Pakistan has pardoned and released a young female medical student who admitted she has joined the Islamic State and attempted to launch a suicide attack targeting Christians on Easter.
In a statement on Samaa TV, Major General Asif Ghafoor explained that Noreen Laghari was pardoned because she was not a terrorist. Rather, Ghafoor said she was just about to become an ISIS bomber and was saved before she was brainwashed, the British Pakistani Christian Association relays.
"So should we treat Noreen like a terrorist or release her so that she can tell others how she was trapped and used for terrorism?" Ghafoor said in his public statement. "In this way, awareness will be created among the younger generation and parents as well as institutions."
Last month, Ghafoor played a video during a press briefing in which Laghari confessed that she was about to be used by ISIS as a suicide bomber targeting a church on Easter. She also clearly indicated that she left her house and went to Lahore of her own free will, Samaa TV reports.
Laghari, a 20-year-old second year student at the Liaquat University of Medical Science, went missing on Feb. 10 and later confessed that she had joined ISIS in Syria. She was arrested on April 16 when security forces launched a crackdown in Lahore.
After Laghari's arrest, many Muslims called for mercy, saying the would-be ISIS terrorist should be forgiven because her young age made her vulnerable to being brainwashed. They also said a custodial sentence would destroy her future in the medical field.
In response to the pardon given to Laghari, BPCA chairman Wilson Chowdhry released a statement presenting the irony of her intelligence in the medical field and her immature image that her supporters are trying to project. He said her hate for Christians would have led to the death of a lot of people, and yet many still want the government to show her mercy.
"How many of these same Pakistani citizens would be so forgiving had Miss Legahri planned to bomb a Muslim School?" said Chowdhry in his statement. "If it were Muslims that were targeted by Legahri I am certain many of the campaigners would find her crime too offensive for granting a pardon - Christian lives are ostensibly less valuable in Pakistan."
For Chowdhry, Laghari's pardon conveys the message that the elite in Pakistan are guaranteed to be above the law. He ended by asking if Pakistani Christians would entrust their well-being to a doctor who previously attempted a church bombing on Easter.