Parents of the martyred students have urged the people to play a role in making the country peaceful and strong as the country observes the sixth anniversary of the devastating terrorist attack on Army Public School (APS) Peshawar.
Six years ago today, on December 16, 2014, 147 people, including 132 schoolchildren, were massacred in the deadliest terrorist attack in Pakistan’s history when terrorists stormed Army Public School in Peshawar Cantonment and opened indiscriminate fire.
To pay tributes to the martyred and injured students, teachers, and other staff members during the unfortunate incident, a number of events have been planned to be held in Peshawar and other parts of the country.
the attack not only shook the entire country but it was condemned by people and countries across the world. A 20-point National Action Plan was introduced across the country a month after the APS attack to tackle militancy and terrorism and restore peace in the country.
“We got this country because of the sacrifices of the martyrs. Today it is strong and peaceful with the blood of martyrs including the APS victims and thousands of others who sacrificed their lives for peace,” Tufail Khattak, father of the martyred student Sher Shah Shaheed “Whenever I see the hustle and bustle again, I feel proud that the security situation has improved a lot because of the sacrifices of our children. Everyone in the government, opposition, departments, forces, and civilians must play their role to make Pakistan stronger,” he maintained.
Sher Shah, a grade-10 student was present in the auditorium along with his brother, Ahmad Shah of grade-8 when the terrorists attacked the hall. Sher Shah ran towards his younger brother amid the indiscriminate firing to save him. Sher Shah sacrificed his life to protect his younger brother. The entire nation, particularly the young generation should draw inspiration from the sacrifice of Sher Shah,” said Tufail Khattak, who feels proud to be the father of a martyred student.
Tufail Khattak and many other parents have launched scholarships and taken other initiatives for poor students in the memory of the fallen heroes.
The Sher Shah Welfare Trust awarded scholarships to 50 students during the current year so that they can continue their studies.Tufail Khattak’s younger son Ahmad Shah also sustained injuries and remained in shock for long after recalling the scenes he had witnessed in the auditorium on that fateful day.
Tufail Khattak and his family frequently visit the school named after Sher Shah Shaheed in their village in Nowshera district to create awareness among the people about the importance of education and peace. Security across the provincial capital has been upgraded to avoid any untoward incident on the occasion of the anniversary of the December 16, 2014, terrorist attack on the APS.
In order to keep the memories alive, mothers of many children have kept the schoolbags and all the belongings of their slain sons to keep their memories alive. They regularly visit the graves of their martyred children. Some parents of the martyred kids are still celebrating the birthdays of their martyred sons.
Families of the slain students said they cannot forget their angelic faces. A number of schools in Peshawar and elsewhere in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the country have been named after the APS martyrs. In September, the Supreme Court of Pakistan directed that the APS judicial commission report be made public.
The report was compiled after almost 20 months by a commission headed by Justice Mohammad Ibrahim of the Peshawar High Court. The report was submitted to the apex court on July 9.
The over 500-page report provides an insight into the security lapses and other issues that led to the horrific attack and the death of a large number of children and other people.