On the occasion of third anniversary of the Army Public School (APS) massacre, a somber ceremony was held on Saturday to pay tributes to the martyrs. The ceremony was held at the APS, which was attended by parents of the martyrs, Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmad Butt, inspector general Frontier Constabulary (FC) and members of the civil society. Lieutenant General Butt laid a floral wreath at the monument of APS victims and prayed for the departed souls. A Quran Khwani was also arranged where parents, civilians and armed forces personnel participated.
Three years after the massacre at Peshawar's Army Public School, the mothers of the martyrs are still waiting for answers. Earlier, the nation observed the third anniversary of brutal APS carnage. The dawn that Pakistan saw on December 16 three years ago unfolded as one of the most tragic incidents in the history of the country as over 140 lives, mostly young children, were lost as extremists belonging to a banned outfit stormed Peshawar APS and opened fire.
On December 16, 2014, brothers Baqir and Satoot, of grade 9 and 11 respectively, had no idea what kind of fate they would be facing on that day. Their mother, Syeda Farhat, who was a teacher in the Army Public School, accompanied them that day.
The brave mother, and teacher, of the school ran towards the auditorium as she heard the sound of gunfire. Farhat was among the people who lost their lives trying to save innocent students. Her grieving husband said that no one could fill the void that Farhat's absence had created. Baqir and Satoot survived the attack but they lost their mother. Baqir, sustained gunshot wounds on his head. Those wounds have healed but for him, the wounds of the loss of his mother will never heal.
Farhat's friend, who is also a teacher, has been taking care of the sons who lost their mother in the Army Public School attack, but the family is still broken and wounded with the loss of a brave teacher who died while saving her students. Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan took to Twitter and remembered the students of APS, saying "Today as we remember with sorrow the devastating terrorist attack on APS Peshawar that martyred our precious innocent children and their teachers."
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa also shared a message on the third anniversary of the APS attack. "Remembering the martyrs of Army Public School Peshawar. The great sacrifice of our innocent beloved children and their brave families remains unforgettable. It symbolises our undeterred resolve in the love of our motherland. Your sacrifice has not gone in vain; we owe this improving peace to you."
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants had stormed the school on Dec 16, 2014, killing at least 144 people - most of whom were children. The mastermind of the APS massacre, Umar Mansour, alias Khalifa Mansour, alias Umar Naray, was killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan last year.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2017