One year on: Nation grieves over Army Public School massacre

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APS Peshawar

On December 16, 2014, terrorists launched an attack on Army Public School, Peshawar. Terrorists sprayed bullets at the children and school staff which resulted in annihilation of one hundred and twenty-two school children along with 22 staff members.

This was a sickening charge carried out by Taliban who had later claimed responsibility of this homicide. This horrendous massacre traumatized not only the Pakistanis but the whole world. Soon after this incident, country embarked upon a change in counter-terrorism strategy.

As a year passes on, and the nation marks first anniversary of the bloodshed of innocents, a ceremony was held which was attended by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while addressing the participants of the APS ceremony declared December 16 “the day of ‘national educational resolve.” During this ceremony honorary shields and medals were given away to the relatives of the APS staff and students who were killed during the APS attack.

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Pakistani Premier during his address also announced the construction of APS University which will be dedicated to the 144 martyrs including students and teachers who had lost their lives as gunmen stormed the school. PM Nawaz Sahrif resolutely said, “We will take revenge for every drop of blood of our innocent children.”

While at the same time, he expressed an ardent desire to permanently rip up the nuisance of terrorism from Pakistan, “Time has come to uproot terrorism from the country,” he said, while adding that “a dialogue process can only be initiated with human beings.”

While the National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution conveying weighty heartache and sorrow over the killing of 122 children and 22 staff members of the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16 last year.

This ceremony was attended by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmood, Governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan Abbasi, Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan Hafiz Hafizur Rehman, Chief Minister of Baloshistan Abdul Malik Baloch and Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak.