Two years passed, the carnage of Army Public School Peshawar sticks to our hearts and minds, most of Pakistanis remain flabbergasted and captivated by this catastrophic brutality of “Dogs of Hell”, the Taliban. Pakistani nation and the Pakistan Army resolves to crush these them. Whole nation is determined to take revenge of the little angels of APS Peshawar. The nation will continue to fight until terrorism is totally eliminated from the mother land”. The massacre of little angels is unforgettable, the whole nation fathoms the pain and agony of the parents and what they have been forced to go through. Angels of APS Peshawar are not forgotten and will never be forgotten. The Pakistani Nation shows their solidarity with the families of all the martyred angels and other victims of the Peshawar massacre.
As one laments and grieves over the carnage of innocent children, teachers and civilians in Army Public School Peshawar two years ago what unfolded On 16 December 2014 is uncomprehenable, seven attackers affiliated with the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) conducted a terrorist attack, killing 141 people, including 132 schoolchildren aged between eight and eighteen years. A rescue operation was launched by the Pakistan Army’s Special Services Group (SSG), killing all seven terrorists and rescuing 960 people.
This was the deadliest terrorist attack ever to occur in Pakistan, surpassing the 2007 Karsaz attack. According to various news agencies and analysts, the nature and preparation of the attack was very similar to that of the Beslan school hostage crisis that occurred in the North Ossetia–Alania region of the Russian Federation in 2004.
Pakistan responded to the attacks by lifting its moratorium on the death penalty, intensifying the War in North-West Pakistan and authorizing military courts to try civilians through a constitutional amendment. On 2 December 2015, Pakistan hanged four militants involved in the Peshawar massacre, whereas the mastermind of the attack, Omar Khorasani was killed in a drone strike in eastern Afghanistan on 9 July 2016. The Supreme Court of Pakistan upheld the death sentences of two more convicts involved in the attack in the Said Zaman Khan v. Federation case on 29 August 2016.
The attack sparked widespread reactions in Pakistan, receiving condemnations from public, government, political and religious entities, journalists, and other members of Pakistani society. Pakistani media reacted strongly to the events, with major newspapers, news channels and many commentators calling for renewed and strong action against militants, especially against TTP.
International reaction to the attack was also widespread, with many countries and international organizations condemning the attack and expressing their condolences to the families of the victims. Many important personalities around the world also condemned the attack.
The Pakistan Taliban (formally known as Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP) had claimed responsibility. We are told they chose the Army Public School and Degree College because most of the city’s army personnel have their children enrolled at the school. These teenagers became inter generational casualties in an ongoing fight between the militants and Pakistani Army.
“We selected the army’s school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females,” said TTP spokesman Muhammad Umar Khurasani. “We want them to feel the pain.”
The TTP emerged as a result of the Pakistani Army’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) operation in 2002, which together with the US, indiscriminately hunted down militant groups along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. This is the area in which most drone strikes take place. In 2007, more than a dozen factions based in different parts of northwest Pakistan formed a loose alliance, called the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), to fight against the Pakistani Army. The group was initially led by Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed by a missile-firing US drone in South Waziristan in August 2009. He was replaced by Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone strike in November 2013. The head of the TTP, Mullah Fazlullah, is believed to be in north-eastern Afghanistan. Some within the Pakistani security establishment remain convinced that Delhi is backing his campaigns. Mohammed Khurasani, the spokesman who claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack, has been in the job for only a few weeks.
Following the attack, Pakistani authorities launched crackdowns on Afghan refugee settlements to apprehend illegal immigrants. During the period, at least 30,000 Afghans left for Afghanistan, out of which close to 2,000 were deported due to lack of legal documentation.
Many international media organisations referred to the attack as Pakistan’s “9/11”. The popular opinion was one of anger against the TTP soon after the attacks. Pakistan’s Government and its Armed Forces showed immediate reaction to the incident.
According to the Iranian-American scholar, Vali Nasr, “the Taliban may be trying to slacken the resolve of the military by suggesting that there could be a tremendous human costs to the military offensive and create public pressure on the military to back off from this offensive, but it may actually ricochet on them.”
On the second day after the attack, the moratorium on capital punishment was lifted in terror-related cases by Nawaz Sharif on the strong recommendation of the then Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif after which Mohammed Aqeel along with Arshad Mehmood, the convicted for a failed assassination attempt on the then President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf, were executed on the 19th of December.
Protesters in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad surrounded a pro-Taliban mosque and reclaimed the space.
A series of candle vigils were held throughout Pakistan in solidarity with the victims. A number of international communities recorded their protest to condemn the deadliest attack on innocent children of APS Peshawar. Terrorists thought of lowering down the morale of Pakistan Armed forces while attacking these innocent school children, instead, Pakistan Army’s unflinching resolve remained intact and crackdown on these terrorists continues with more zeal an enthusiasm.
ISPR released a song, “Bara Dushman Bana Phirta Hai Jo Bachon Se Larta Hai”, to pay tribute to victims.
In 2015, Pakistan renamed 107 schools after school children killed during the massacre in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region.
The 2015 video game Pakistan Army Retribution is set during the Peshawar school massacre. Players After a negative review on the website of few newspapers, people on Twitter also outed their criticism on the game. Pakistan Army Retribution was pulled from the Google Play Store in January 2016.
Rao Humayon Suleman
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