BAHAWALPUR/ SIALKOT/ FAISALABAD/ SARGODHA/ LAHORE:
Thousands of people from across the province on Wednesday congregated at public places, offered prayers for victims of the December 16 massacre at Army Public School in Peshawar and lit candles in their memory.
The national flag was at half-mast at all public buildings.
Judges of district courts and lawyers in Lahore offered funeral prayers for children who died in the attack.
District and Sessions Judge Tariq Iftikhar Ahmed, senior civil judge Mian Javaid Akram Baitu and several additional district and sessions judges and more than 300 lawyers condemned the massacre, saying such incidents of brutality were rare. Lahore Bar Association (LBA) called a meeting to condemn the incident and express solidarity with families of injured. LBA general secretary Chaudhary Saleem Ladhi said the killings would remain imprinted on national memory forever. He said the government and all political parties should put their heads together and come up with solution to the menace of terrorism.
School children pray for the victims of the attack at Army Public School in Peshawar at the morning assembly. PHOTO: ABID NAWAZ/ONLINE
Lawyers, on the call of Pakistan Bar Council, observed a strike and did not appear before courts in protest against the attack on the school in Peshawar.
In Sialkot, most businesses remained closed and a one-minute silence was observed at Government College for Women University. Scores of students, lawyers and traders gathered at the press club and condemned the incident.
Vice Chancellor Riffat Saleemi said Pakistanis stood united against terrorism.
“The barbarity we witnessed yesterday cannot be condemned enough,” she said.
In Sargodha, lawmakers joined citizens in memorial services. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost their children yesterday. We should all pray for speedy recovery of the injured,” said MNAs Hamid Hameed, Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti and Shafqat Hayat Khan at a demonstration in front of the DCO’s office. Prayers for the deceased were held at DPO Chowk and the Commissioner’s House.
In Bahawalpur, all educational institutes remained closed. Hundreds of traders marched to Islamia University to offer prayers for the victims and their families. Several student organisations led protest rallies at Chowk Saraiki, Chowk Fawara, Fareed Gate.
In Faisalabad, lawyers offered prayers at the district bar association office.
Talking to newsmen, bar secretary Chaudhary Ejaz Wahla said Tuesday’s attack had left him horrified.
“What kind of people kill children?” he said.
The lawyers urged the government to formulate an effective security policy.
“We cannot think of losing more children,” they said.
The incident was mourned in all parts of Faisalabad with all markets and offices remaining closed on the government’s call for three-day mourning.
All public schools and colleges remained opened. However, private were closed for mourning. Students observed one-minute silence at institutes that remained opened.
Speaking at a condolence meeting, Private Schools Management Association president Rana Tahir Saleem Khan condemned the tragedy.
He said the government and Pakistan Army should accelerate efforts to eliminate terrorism from the country.
Prayers for the deceased and the injured were offered at Clock Tower. The prayers were attended by a large number of citizens, political figures, religious scholars, lawyers, journalists and school children.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2014.
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