PESHAWAR: The fifth anniversary of the attack on the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar, in which 144 students and staff were killed on December 16, 2014, will be remembered as a ‘day of solidarity’ in the province.
This was directed by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government through a notification issued on Friday.
Issued on the directions of Adviser to K-P Chief Minister on Education Ziaullah Khan Bangash, the K-P Elementary and Secondary Education (ESET) department on Friday directed all schools across the province to commemorate the anniversary.
The provincial government has decided to observe the tragedy with tremendous reverence and by paying glowing tributes to the martyrs. Solidarity will be shown with the loved ones of victims and pledges will be renewed to keep the country and its children safe from all evils.
The day will begin with prayers for the departed souls in the morning assembly. They will be followed by special commemorative ceremonies.
The notification asks for pictures and names of all martyrs of the APS tragedy be displayed on the main gates of educational institutes as a reminder of their tremendous sacrifice and to instil courage and dignity amongst students to tackle all possible challenges in life and to rekindle a love for the homeland.
In special message to mark the event, the education adviser stated that the entire nation salutes the martyrs of the APS attack.
“While terrorists have attacked schools to extinguish candles of knowledge, the morale of the nation could not be lowered and we continue to strive for lighting the candle of education in the province and the newly-merged tribal districts,” he said in the statement.
“APS martyrs are our heroes. They have rendered everlasting sacrifices for our country and peace in the region especially in the field of education and the students who defeated the enemy's malicious ambitions,” Bangash added.
“After the devastating incident, the entire nation and all of its institutions stood united to end terrorism in the country while the heinous plans of the militants proved to be a turning point for the elimination of militants and militancy from the country, especially in K-P and NMTDs,” he shared.
The national tragedy awakened the Pakistani nation and it became a rallying cry for them to unite against terrorism, leading to a decisive war resulted in a marked improvement in the security situation.
However, five 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.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2019.