PESHAWAR/ JAMRUD/ SHERGARH: To express solidarity with Army Public School (APS) attack victims, businessmen held a rally in Namak Mandi in Peshawar on Monday.
The participants included shopkeepers, parents and students who walked through Khyber Bazaar, carrying pictures of the murdered students and Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif. They also slammed the terrorists and strongly condemned the attack in Parachinar on Sunday.
The rally was headed by the Small Chamber of Commerce Information Secretary Zafar Shinwari and participants offered prayers for the departed souls. Addressing the rally, Shinwari condemned all terrorists and said the APS attack was a hugely tragic incident for all. He said the business community stood united with the parents in their hour of grief.
Also, a condolence reference will be held for the APS victims on Tuesday (today) at the District Council Hall of Peshawar at 2:30pm. District nazim Muhammad Asim Khan will chair the reference.
A press release issued from his office on Monday stated all political parties central and provincial leaders, including Jamaat-e-Islami Central Ameer Sirajul Haq, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Senator Ghulam Ali and Awami National Party K-P Information Secretary Haroon Bilour, were invited.
Meanwhile, ANP leader Asfandyar Wali Khan slammed the fact there was no judicial commission in the APS case despite the fact that one year had passed since the massacre. He added certain facts and figures have not been made public.
In a press statement issued from Bacha Khan Markaz, Asfandyar said ANP stood united with the bereaved families and added the sacrifices of these children would not be in vain. He said the 21-point National Action Plan was approved by the government after a protest by the public. However, most of it remained unimplemented.
Asfandyar said the deadly Parachinar attack had proved again “factories of terrorists” were still producing them and action was needed.
Later, it was reported that the ANP chief was advised complete bed rest by his physicians due to his deteriorating health. Talking to The Express Tribune, a party worker close to Asfandyar said the ANP leader suffered high blood pressure and was advised to give up his daily routine including all political activities.
In Jamrud, a government girls degree college also organised an event to mark the anniversary of the massacre. College principal Dr Hamid attended the event as chief guest and students displayed messages of peace and hope. National songs were also played in the background. Hamid said the programme was dedicated to the innocent children and faculty lost on that fateful day.
Students of Government Degree College Lund Khwar also held a rally Monday morning in Shergarh.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2015.