The second memorial anniversary of the deadly terrorist attack on Army Public School Peshawar was observed on Friday to pay homage to the innocent martyrs of the tragedy. Two years ago today, on December 16, 2014, 144 people, including 131 schoolchildren, were martyred in the deadliest terrorist attack in Pakistan’s history when terrorists stormed Army Public School in Peshawar Cantonment and started indiscriminately killing everyone in sight.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has announced holiday for all educational institutions in the province in memory of the martyrs. Arrangements were in place at different educational institutions and other places to remember the young martyrs.
The main function was held at Army Public School Peshawar on Friday morning, which was attended by students and parents of the martyred. Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa, Corps Commander Peshawar Lt Gen Hidayat ur Rehman and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra also attended the memorial. Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Jawed Bajwa laid a wreath and offered Fatiha as he attended the second anniversary of the APS school attack.
Speaking at the memorial the COAS said, ‘We need to make Pakistan the kind of country that Quaid thought of. We can never forget these children. I have photos of them in my office and keep looking at them periodically to remind me of our losses.’ ‘We need to remember that these children still live on, they are martyrs. We have organised this Quran Khwani this year, just like last year, we need to not forget this loss.’ he added.
‘We have taken some steps to help the families these children left behind. The siblings of the martyred children are being provided the best possible education in Pakistan,’ said Gen Bajwa. The Army chief concluded his address saying, ‘The armed forces are working day and night to make this country a better, safer place.’
Earlier, addressing the ceremony the principal of APS Peshawar said, ‘That time (of the attack) was very difficult for the whole country. It felt as though we would never be able to come out of this pain. But we came out of that time better and stood strong in front of the enemy.’ Paying tribute to the victims, mostly school children, she said, ‘We have not forgotten our children, our brave Principal, Tahira Qazi and the young soldiers whose martyrdom strengthened the country.—APP