PM Abbasi calls Dec 16th, 2014 ‘Black Day’
COAS Gen Bajwa says country owes its improving security situation to sacrifice of APS children
PESHAWAR: Chief of Army Staff General (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday said the sacrifice of APS martyrs has not gone in vain and the country’s improving peace is owed to them, as Pakistanis across the country observed the third anniversary of the Army Public School (APS) massacre, in which militants killed 144 persons, mostly schoolchildren.
Meanwhile, parents of the APS martyrs, Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Nazir Ahmad Butt, Frontier Constabulary (FC) inspector general and members of the civil society attended the event at the school’s campus in Peshawar to pay tribute to the victims of the carnage.
Lt Gen 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.
On December 16, 2014, terrorists from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) stormed the army-run school and killed around 150 people, including more than 130 young students. The incident shook the country and resulted in the formation of a National Action Plan (NAP) to stem extremism and terrorism from the country.
PM CALLS DEC 16 ‘BLACK DAY’:
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on the eve of the tragedy, stated that December 16, 2014, will be remembered as a black day in the history of the world when inhumane terrorists attacked innocent children.
He said that the sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation are unmatched. “The nation gave the sacrifice of life and property in the war against terrorism,” he added.
The premier stated in his message further that extremism is the tree from which the poisonous fruit of terrorism grows.
“The army’s day-and-night hard work and sacrifice has broken the terrorists’ back. The army, security forces defeated terrorists via the National Action Plan,” he added.
‘SACRIFICE NOT IN VAIN’:
Separately, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) released a statement from the army chief on Twitter in which Gen Bajwa paid tribute to the “great sacrifice of our innocent beloved children and their brave families.
“Remembering martyrs of APS Peshawar. The great sacrifice of our innocent beloved children & their brave families remains unforgettable. It symbolises our undeterred resolve in love of our motherland. Your sacrifice has not gone in vain, we owe this improving peace to you” COAS. pic.twitter.com/scA8AhU95A
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) December 16, 2017
The statement from the army chief added that the sacrifice of the children and their families remains unforgettable.
“It symbolises our undeterred resolve in love of our motherland,” said General Bajwa.
‘NATION WILL NEVER FORGET SUPREME SACRIFICE OF APS MARTYRS’
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that the nation would never forget the supreme sacrifice of the Army Public School (APS) Peshawar martyrs.
The minister, in a statement, said the war against terrorism would continue, and urged unity in the nation to win the fight for future generation.
He said the incident had united the whole nation against terrorism and strengthened its resolve against the menace of terrorism.
He said December 16 was a reminder when inhumane terrorists attacked innocent children in APS. He added the nation gave the sacrifice of life and property in the war against terrorism.
MESSAGES OF REMEMBRANCE POUR IN FROM POLITICAL LEADERS:
Political leaders also recalled the sacrifices of the martyred children.
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that savage killers made the innocent students of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar a victim of their barbarianism on December 16, 2014, and due to that incident, the whole country united in the war against terrorism, thus leading towards victory on many fronts.
In his message issued on the eve of the 3rd anniversary of martyrs of APS Peshawar, the chief minister said that teachers, as well as the students of APS Peshawar, had rendered a great sacrifice for the achievement of a great purpose, adding that their names would write a new history of bravery and valour.
Imran Khan took to Twitter early Saturday morning and stated, “we must ensure this can never happen again so our future generations can be nurtured safely to follow their dreams”.
Today as we remember with sorrow the devastating terrorist attack on APS Peshawar that martyred our precious innocent children & their teachers, we must ensure this can never happen again so our future generations can be nurtured safely to follow their dreams
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) December 16, 2017
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also put forth a message and criticised the failure of the current administration in curbing the occurrence of such sad incidents in future.
Bilawal in his tweet stated, “3 years after the APS tragedy we continue to fail the victims. Failed to conduct the judicial inquiry their families demanded. Failed to implement #NAP. Failed to ensure such an incident would never happen again”.
3 years after the #APS tragedy we continue to fail the victims. Failed to conduct the judicial inquiry their families demanded. Failed to implement #NAP. Failed to insure such an incident would never happen again, not on our watch. We can do better. A #PPP govt will.
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) December 16, 2017
Jahangir Tareen in his message stated, “3 years ago on this day, we lost invaluable innocent lives in the gruesome APS Peshawar tragedy. May Allah raise ranks of those angels in Jannat & may He give their parents patience & strength for the rest of their lives”.
3 years ago on this day, we lost invaluable innocent lives in the gruesome APS Peshawar tragedy. May Allah raise ranks of those angels in Jannat & may He give their parents patience & strength for the rest of their lives.
— Jahangir Khan Tareen (@JahangirKTareen) December 16, 2017