ISLAMABAD: Various events were organised across the twin cities in memoriam of the victims of the massacre at Army Public School (APS) Peshawar last year.
Children from Pakistan Sweet Homes, an orphanage, held a candlelight vigil to mark the day at Islamabad Press Club. The children, dressed in military uniforms, gathered at the venue to remember those slain in the attack last year.
The children carried placards and banners supporting the army.
Around fifty children of varying ages participated in the vigil, marking the day by parading in honour of the forces, and singing the ISPR-released musical tribute to APS victims.
Pakistan Sweet Homes’ Patron-in-chief Zamurd Khan expressed his support for Pakistan Army in its fight against terror outfits.
The homes support more than 400 children in Islamabad and 3,600 across the country. Many of the children are from war zones and lost one or both parents in the conflict, said Public Relations Officer Umer Hussain.
The presence of children affected by the war made the programme all the more potent.
Manager Director Pakistan Baitul Mal Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh was also present at the vigil.
Meanwhile, a joint statement, signed by several organisations and individuals, was sent out via a press release.
Signatories including Kishwar Naheed, Tahira Abdullah, Dr Fouzia Bari, and Zehra Kamal; and organisations such as Aizan Development Foundation (ADF), Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF), Insan Foundation, and Bedari have pledged to honour the martyrs by showing solidarity with their families and standing against the aggression of terror groups.
They have also opposed the government’s proposal to negotiate with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), questioning the commitment of both civil and military leaderships to the National Action Plan (NAP).
The statement also paid homage to other victims of terrorism, including Aitzaz Hassan, the heroic student who died while stopping a bomber in Hangu.
Among other things, it also called for the media to be granted access to all regions of Pakistan, and repatriation and rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Peoples of FATA after the area is cleared of extremist elements.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2015.