Victims of APS tragedy seek justice from CJ


Threaten to start campaign to expose culprits, inefficient officers

PESHAWAR: Parents, especially sisters of the students killed in the Peshawar Army Public School (APS) terrorist attack on December 16, 2014, called upon the Chief Justice (CJ) of Pakistan to realize his responsibility of dispensing justice to the parents of 144 children who lost their lives that day.

“It is astonishing that the chief executive of the country was disqualified and sent back but no one bothers to take notice of the genocide of 144 children,” the parents and teachers jointly remarked during a press conference in Peshawar on Thursday.

“If institutions are incapable of taking action against the culprits then the inquiry report should be made public,” the protestors demanded the chief justice.

Mahwash Tariq, who lost two brothers in the deadly attack, said that the protest is peaceful and that they are all peaceful citizens of the country who believed in denouncing terror and violence. She said that in the APS attack they suffered a lot, and they are hoping that the Supreme Court and the CJ would take early notice of the matter.

She said that a time will surely come when someone will open the files and provide justice to the victims. But if justice is delayed, it means justice is denied, she added.

Hafsa, who also lost two teenage brothers in the attack, condemned the government functionaries including the security forces and said, “Compensation doesn’t mean that we should remain silent.”

She questioned that whether the compensation and other reliefs provided by the government to the affected families aimed at silencing their voices. She made it clear that it is the time for the CJ to realise his legal responsibilities, otherwise, they were determined to embark on a well-planned drive aimed to expose the culprits and the officers who were inefficient and guilty of negligence.

A number of parents also criticised the government of the deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for its failure to probe into the APS attack and award exemplary punishment to the culprits.

“In fact, the responsibility rests with the state and the state organs including the judiciary, the executive and the legislature, to ensure the protection of the lives and properties of the civilians. But unfortunately, from the last several years, all these organs have failed in fulfilling their responsibilities,” said the protesting parents.

The protestors also showed concern over the failure of the opposition parties, civil society, and the human right defenders. They said that people from all these bodies have been making tall claims but in reality, they did nothing. They also criticised the parents who were silent despite being the victims of the tragedy.

The authorities claimed that after the attack, the political and military leadership agreed on the National Action Plan (NAP) to eradicate terror. Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad is in progress and thousands of terrorists have been arrested and sentenced to various terms.