Pent up aggression: Imran given an earful by APS victims’ parents

PTI chief invites parents to come and stage address memorial event

Asad Zia December 16, 2015
PTI chief addresses to participants during commemoration ceremony on the ocassion of first anniversary of APS attack. PHOTO: PPI

PESHAWAR: Given half a chance, parents of Army Public School victims vented their anger at the PTI-led government, reminding party chief Imran Khan that he had promised a judicial probe into the massacre.

An event was held at the K-P Archives and Library to mark the anniversary of the day 147 people, mostly schoolchildren, were gunned down by militants.

The parents shouted slogans against the PTI chief who was present on the occasion. They reminded him that a year had passed since the incidents, but promises were yet to be fulfilled. “We only want an independent judicial commission to probe the tragedy and punish the people involved,” one of the parents said. PTI chief Imran Khan invited parents to come up on stage and present their demands.

Advocate Fazal Khan, the father of martyred student Umar Khan, reminded the government of promises it had made. He said that no political figure from the PTI-led government visited the houses of the mourning families.

Fazal said intelligence reports suggested two weeks before the incident that such a brazen attack was on the cards. He added only two security guards were on duty that day while the school gates were wide open. According to Fazal, IGP Nasir Durrani had admitted the police’s failure and questioned how the government could keep him at such a responsible position.

He warned that parents would start a movement against the government. Imran tried to pacify the situation by assuring parents that their demands were genuine and would be met.

Imran explained that after the APS attack he decided to call off the protests in the federal capital.

The demonstrators rejected renaming the K-P Archives and Library as the APS Shuhada Memorial Library as they felt it was a decrepit old structure.

However, the PTI chief said they understood the pain of parents and would stand by them. He said the government had renamed the K-P Archive and Library in memory of APS victims because it was a historical building. Imran shared that militancy had decreased in country and was confident Pakistan would soon be among the more peaceful countries in the world.

Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said the entire country stood with the families of those killed on December 16, 2014. He said the day showed unity among the people and that Pakistan stood against terrorism. Khattak said the provincial government had compensated the families of slain students with Rs2million, while 0.4million and Rs0.2million were given to those injured or seriously injured. He shared that the government transported some of the injured students abroad for treatment. He said the Tamgha-e-Shujaat was announced for the martyred students and faculty members. According to the CM, they renamed 122 government schools after the killed students and would establish a technical university in Nowshera with the name of an APS martyr.

K-P Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said a parliamentary committee would be established to conduct an enquiry into the tragedy.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th,  2015.


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