Political leaders united in sorrow

  • PPP and MQM announce three days of mourning, others condemn terrorist attack on innocent children
  • ANP Senator Zahid Khan accuses KP govt of negligence

The political leadership across the country have condemned the attack on school children in Peshawar, saying there was no room for political point scoring over such a national tragedy.

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) announced three days of mourning and suspended all political activities while the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) said that they would not hold their scheduled protests in wake of the attack which claimed the lives of 142 people, most of them students, at the Army Public School in Peshawar.

Ina statement, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari said the attack exposed Taliban’s barbarity and termed them similar to the Nigerian terrorist outfit, Boko Haram.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah expressed grief over the loss of precious lives of young students who were the future of the country.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq said the entire nation was united with the aggrieved families in this hour of grief. He said the attack was a strong message to the country and government and that it should not be taken lightly.

PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the incident did not warrant political point scoring or blaming each other. “Considering the fact that there is an operation being carried out against terrorists and they are being killed, you can expect a blow back and expect them to retaliate,” he told a news channel.

“While the KP government is responsible, criticism is not a solution. Instead of criticising, we all have to come together and figure out how to fight against this common enemy,” he said.

Federal Minister for Information Senator Pervaiz Rashid termed the cowardly act of killing and making hostage innocent students and teachers as inhuman and barbaric. He said that terrorists cannot deter the nation’s resolve to root out the menace of terrorism from the country.

Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain said that it was highly barbaric to shed the blood of innocent people. They said that the terrorists wanted to create panic and destabilize the country but they would not be allowed to succeed in their designs.

Jammatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed said that massacre of innocent children in the name of Islam is not Jihad but terrorism.

“Islam is religion of peace and harmony and it does not teach us to kill innocent children and women even in war,” he said.

JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman expressed grief over the loss of precious lives and prayed for early recovery of the injured.

MQM chief Altaf Hussain said the whole nation needs to show unity against terrorism. “Today’s massacre in Peshawar has repeated Dec 16, 1971 tragedy of Pakistan,” he said.

ANP leader Zahid Khan was perhaps the only political leader who resorted to politicking, saying the foremost priority of the government was to protect life and property of the citizens but KP Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak had been missing from the province for last three months.

“Khattak and his cabinet members are busy in staging sit-ins and protests in the federal capital and major cities for personal and political gains while ignoring their official responsibilities,” he said.