Remembering the martyrs of APS tragedy

PESHAWAR: Today marks the fourth anniversary of the devastating terrorist attack on Army Public School Peshawar.

On December 16, 2014, terrorists stormed the army-run school and martyred around 150 people, including more than 130 young students. The incident shook the country and resulted in the formation of a National Action Plan to stem extremism and terrorism in the country, as well as the creation of military courts to try ‘hardcore’ terrorists.

A ceremony to pay tribute to the martyrs of APS Peshawar was held today. It started with a special prayer for the martyrs followed by the national anthem, a statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations said.

A smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Army presented the guard of honour while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman laid a floral wreath at the martyrs’ monument and offered fateha for the departed souls.

Later, he joined the families of shuhada, school children and staff for Quran khawani at a school.

During his interaction with the families of shahuda, the governor said that the entire nation is standing shoulder to shoulder with the bereaved families. “APS tragedy united the nation against terrorism,” he said.

Corps Commander Peshawar Lieutenant General Shaheen Mazhar Mehmood was also present at the ceremony.

Similar prayers and walks are also being held in other parts of the country in the memory of the victims.

‘Sacrifices of APS students united nation against terrorism’

Prime Minister Imran Khan paid tribute to the martyrs of the terrorist attack on Army Public School Peshawar, on the fourth anniversary of the tragedy on Sunday.

In his message on the occasion, Prime Minister Imran said the tragic incident unified and solidified the entire nation against an enemy which is a blot on humanity and the worst example of barbarism.

He said the sacrifices of the young martyrs of the devastating terrorist attack would never be forgotten.

‘Sacrifices of martyrs would always be remembered’

In his message on the fourth anniversary of APS tragedy, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said the sacrifices of the students of APS Peshawar would always be remembered.

He said the tragic incident showed the brutal mindset of terrorists who targeted innocent students within the educational institution, exposing their nefarious designs against humanity, education and knowledge.

Mahmood Khan said that the incident united the entire nation to eliminate terrorism from the country.

The chief minister vowed that the provincial government would always extend a helping hand to the bereaved families. A monument had been constructed in Peshawar in the memory of the martyrs, he added.

He reminded that the government and the security institutions were on the same page to launch the national action plan for total eradication of terrorists and terrorism from the country.

The minister also paid rich tributes to the parents of the martyrs for bearing the loss with patience and fortitude.

‘Black day a scar on collective memory of nation’

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in his message, said the fateful ‘black day’ would continue to remain a scar on the collective memory of the nation.

Even after four years, the pain and sorrow of the heinous terrorist act remains fresh, he said, adding that the attack shocked the entire nation but also tested the resilience and resolve of Pakistan to fight terrorism and extremism.

The country emerged from that test not only intact, but strengthened, the foreign minister said. 

Qureshi said the anniversary of this tragic incident is also a reminder for the international community that terrorism is a common enemy and must be jointly fought.

‘Pakistan has defeated terrorism’

In his message, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said brutal terrorists perpetrated the worst crime against innocent children, which was unprecedented in history.

He said Pakistan has defeated terrorism and the victory will be of our determination, will and people.