The third anniversary of the devastating terrorist attack on Army Public School (APS) Peshawar is being observed today.
On December 16, 2014, terrorists stormed the army-run school and killed 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 from the country, as well as the creation of military courts to try ‘hardcore’ terrorists.
To mark the anniversary, an event will be held at the school in Peshawar, which will be attended by senior civilian and military officials.
A memorial of the APS martyrs constructed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in Peshawar will also be inaugurated today, according to Radio Pakistan.
In a special message, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Dec 16, 2014, will be remembered as a black day in the history of the world, when inhumane terrorists attacked innocent children.
He said that the sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation are unmatched. “The nation gave the sacrifice of life and property in the war against terrorism,” he added.
The premier stated in his message further that extremism is the tree from which the poisonous fruit of terrorism grows.
“The army’s day-and-night hard work and sacrifice has broken the terrorists’ back. The army, security forces defeated terrorists via the National Action Plan,” he added.
After the incident the nation got together to take action against terrorism, he stated further, adding that the nation salutes its martyrs.
In a message on Twitter, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran khan said “we must ensure this can never happen again so our future generations can be nurtured safely to follow their dreams”.
Today as we remember with sorrow the devastating terrorist attack on APS Peshawar that martyred our precious innocent children & their teachers, we must ensure this can never happen again so our future generations can be nurtured safely to follow their dreams
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) December 16, 2017
Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari paid special tribute to the martyrs and the grieving families.
In a statement, he said he sees his slain mother, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, when he looks at the mothers of the martyred students.
Bilawal, in a message on Twitter, however, criticised the government’s failure to conduct a judicial inquiry into the incident and implementation of NAP.
3 years after the #APS tragedy we continue to fail the victims. Failed to conduct the judicial inquiry their families demanded. Failed to implement #NAP. Failed to insure such an incident would never happen again, not on our watch. We can do better. A #PPP govt will.
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) December 16, 2017
In a statement, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the nation will never forget the supreme sacrifice of the APS martyrs.
“The country still mourns the martyrs of APS Peshawar,” he added.