On December 16, 2014, Taliban terrorists rampaged through a military-run school in Peshawar, killing 145 pupils and staff.
This methodical killing of young schoolchildren – some as young as five years – this wanton violence, this mindless massacre shocked not just the Pakistani nation, but the entire world.
It was the “most unkindest cut of all” – a cut that exposed the ugly face of a group that wanted to impose their obscurantist ideology on the country.
It was a national tragedy which awakened the Pakistani nation and became a rallying cry for them to unite against the existential threat called the Taliban.
This cataclysmic event led to a decisive war against terrorism which resulted in a marked improvement in the security situation. However, four years on, the wounds inflicted by the deadly attack on Army Public School (APS) have not healed. The tragedy is etched on the memory of the Pakistani nation.
Every December the haunting images of blood-soaked school bags, life-less bodies in school uniforms, and traumatic bereavement of parents come back to remind us that the fight against terrorism must not end until these young victims are avenged.
Social media users took to Twitter before midnight to recall the tragedy and within minutes #From APStoHeaven and #APShum nahinhoolay became top trends on the popular microblogging site.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto said the blood of innocent children of APS Peshawar shall continue to shake conscience of entire nation until the monster terrorism together with sponsors and facilitators are completely wiped out from the country.
While PPP leader Farhatullah Babar said that it has been four years to APS Peshawar massacre, nearly 150 school children, teachers and staff martyred. Self confessed assassin Ehsanullah Ehsan enjoying state hospitality, paraded as ‘misguided youth’ as ground prepared for mainstreaming militants but justice eludes families of victims.
Education activist Ziauddin Youasafzai spoke out on Twitter saying, “December 16 is one of the bleakest days in history of Pakistan. The souls of massacred children of APS will keep haunting the murderers unless their parents see justice and we see a long lasting peace on our land. Boys, your sacred blood will not go in vain.”