PESHAWAR: Today the nation is observing 4th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Army Public School Peshawar (APS).
Six terrorists stormed APS School on the same day four years ago and opened indiscriminate firing killing 147 students and teachers of the school. Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated that the government would transform the country into such abode where there would be no place for religious, lingual, caste or creed based sectarianism, extremism, and violence.
The Prime Minister in a message on the 4th anniversary of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar tragedy reiterated that education was the only weapon with which they could defeat extremism and terrorism permanently. He said December 16, reminded the nation of that tragic day on which the terrorists, with utter disregard for the humanitarian and religious principles, targeted the innocent students of the Army Public School who had arrived school to seek an education with a hope for a bright future.
This heart-wrenching incident not only inflicted pain and misery on the whole nation but also paved way for the unity and solidarity among the ranks of the nation against terrorism, he added. The Prime Minister said with Allah Almighty’s support and nation’s backing, the valiant armed forces of Pakistan and other law enforcement agencies, through operations Zarb-e-Azb and Raddul Fasad accomplished an unprecedented decisive action against terrorism. He said by sacrificing their innocent blood, the APS students united the nation forever against a heartless enemy who was a blot on the humanity and worst manifestation of inhumanity.
The Prime Minister observed that the memories of APS tragedy would always remain alive. On this day, they paid tributes to the innocent `Shuhadah’ of APS and expressed solidarity and sympathies with the bereaved families who had sent their children to school for getting an education, but their bodies returned homes wrapped in `Shahadat’.
The whole nation shared the pain and suffering of all the grieving parents, he added. The Prime Minister said the nation had paid a huge price in the war on terror. Despite giving huge sacrifices in term of human and financial losses, still, if anyone leveled the accusation against Pakistan, or blamed it, they were reminded that in this global war, the massive price was paid by the personnel of our armed forces, law enforcement agencies, civilian and innocent souls. The Prime Minister reiterated that despite all these huge losses and sufferings, as a nation, Govt. was committed to the national, regional and global peace. The Prime Minister posted his views on his Twitter account as the whole nation observed the 4th anniversary of the Army Public School (APS) martyrs.
“Today, as we remember and pray for the survivors and the victims’ families, especially the parents of the Peshawar APS terrorist attack, my govt. commits itself to fully implementing NAP to rid Pakistan of all forms of terrorism, violence, and hatred,” he posted on his account. He also paid tribute to the gallant armed forces of Pakistan, law enforcement agencies and all those institutions who had sacrificed in the war on terror. The best way to pay tribute was to reiterate the resolve for the sublime objective for which they had laid down their lives, he stressed. Special functions have been arranged at APS schools and other educational institutions to pay homage to martyrs of APS school tragedy.
Similar, functions are being held in other parts of the country including candle vigil light in the memory of martyr students.
President Dr. Arif Alvi Sunday said the sacrifices of innocent students and teachers of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar had awakened and united the whole nation. On the 4th anniversary of the APS tragedy, the President in his message said, the APS was not only a national tragedy but also a day to renew the pledge towards the motherland. The nation should vow that it would be ready for every sacrifice to face extremism in the country, he added. The President prayed for the `Shuhadah’ of the APS and the bereaved families to bear their losses with equanimity. He observed that the nation would always remember the great sacrifices of the APS `Shuhadah’ and their families. The whole nation also acknowledged the huge sacrifices rendered by the armed forces and other law enforcement agencies in their successful campaigns to root out terrorism.
Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani paid tribute to the martyred students of APS and sympathized with their parents. He said the whole nation shared the grief of parents of the children of APS, who had embraced martyrdom four years ago. He said promoting education was the key to defeat the menaces of extremism and terrorism forever. “December 16 remembers us the black day when the innocent children of APS were martyred, who will be remembered for long.” Paying tribute to the Pakistan armed forces and law enforcement agencies for their valiant role and unmatched sacrifices in the war against terrorism and extremism, he said the nation had offered unprecedented sacrifices.
Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa Sunday paid rich tributes to the APS martyrs, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor quoted the COAS as saying on his official Twitter account that the nation faced challenges at a heavy cost to come out successfully. Vowing to move the country forward to its rightful destination of peace and prosperity, the Army Chief said the nation remembered and prayed for the APS martyrs. He saluted the brave parents. “We stay united & steadfast to carry forward Pakistan to its rightful destination of peace & prosperity. We have to move forward, (In sha Allah), ” he added.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) held a ‘Quran Khuwani’ in Hyderabad today to commemorate Army Public School, Kasba Ali Garh and partition of East Pakistan incidents and to pray for the martyrs of the incidents. Saleem Razzaq, in charge of MQM-P’s Sindh Organizing Committee, Hyderabad’s Joint Organizer Naveed Abbassi and other office bearers and members of the party attended the ceremony. The participants expressed solidarity with the families of the martyred students of the APS as well as with survivors of the incident.
President of ANP Asfanyar Wali Khan Saturday emphasized on full implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) drafted in the wake of APS carnage on December 16, 2014, that united the entire nation on the platform against terrorism. On the eve of the fifth anniversary of APC massacre, the ANP Chief argued that though some points of the NAP have been followed by the provinces and the federal government majority of the points yet to be implemented. To avoid APS like carnage, Asfandyar Wali said: “we have to bring the factors behind the national tragedy before of the nation”. The notion of good and bad Taliban has to be abandoned and initiation of across the board action against the banned outfit was need of the hour to get rid of terrorism, he added. NAP is the best option available with us to overcome the problem of terrorism on sound footings, he added. The atmosphere of trust and confidence is being built due to temporary peace in the region, therefore, we have to benefit from it an otherwise big danger in the shape of Daesh was looming large in the region which is being funded by forty countries. The philosophy of non-violence of Khudai Khidmatgar Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan also known as Baacha Khan has to be followed in letter and spirit for achieving the desired goal of peace in the region.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain today said that the Pakistani nation will never forget the sacrifice of the martyrs of Army Public School in the war against terrorism. Paying glowing tributes to Martyrs of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar, the minister said in a statement that the callous and inhuman terrorists targeted innocent students having no parallel in human history. He said Pakistan was a country, children of which contributed to the war against terrorism through their blood. He said that sacrifice of APS students and teachers was the undeniable proof of Pakistani nation’s unflinching resolve to defeat this scourge as every segment of society including children, women, youth, elderly and non-Muslims have resisted terrorism by setting examples of bravery. He said if any country neglected supreme sacrifices and gave negative remarks against Pakistani nation’s efforts in the war against terrorism, actually it insulted the sacrifices of innocent martyrs of APS, our valiant armed forces, police, and other law enforcement agencies, adding, no religion or justice loving person can allow this attitude. Fawad said that with the grace of Almighty Allah, Pakistan has defeated terrorists and Pakistan would keep the tradition of sacrifices in this war alive.
Candles were lit in the memory of martyrs of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar, outside DC Complex in Faisalabad. Speaking on the occasion, the DC said the APS tragedy was the worst example of barbarism. He said sacrifices of the martyrs would be remembered for long. He said a site outside the DC Complex had been fixed where people could place flowers and lit candles for APS martyrs. Later, Fateha was also offered.
Tremendous tributes were paid in Rawalpindi to the martyrs of Army Public School (APS), Peshawar through a walk followed by a stage play and a ceremony organized under auspices of Rawalpindi Arts Council and Nemat Foundation. MNA and Parliamentary Secretary for Federal Education and Professional Training Wajiha Akram was the chief guest on the occasion. Addressing the participants, Wajiha Akram said that the APS incident had united the whole nation adding every child of Pakistan is commander and leader of the country. She said it was need of the time to recognize the enemy who was using our own people to achieve their nefarious designs. Wajiha Akram said that it was such kind of incidents which saddened the whole world. A stage play “Khak-e-Nasheman” written and directed by Naheed Manzoor was also presented to show solidarity with the parents of APS martyrs. Naheed Manzoor on the occasion said that APS incident was a great tragedy for the whole nation. Brig (R) Agha Hassan said that the sacrifices of the armed forces saved the nation and protected the innocent citizens from attacks of the enemies. Shakil Ahmed Chohan, Ch. Shahbaz, Dr. Amir Hanif, Mahi Sheikh, Dr. Ahmed, and others also spoke on the occasion. Later, a candlelit vigil was arranged to pay tribute to APS martyrs. Director RAC thanked the distinguished guests at the end of the ceremony.
A relevant piece published earlier: