Parents protest at Army Public School in Peshawar against 'sluggish investigation'

By AFP
Published: February 7, 2015
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Relatives of schoolchildren killed in Taliban attack on Army Public School (APS) protest against delays in the investigation in Peshawar on February 7, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Relatives of schoolchildren killed in Taliban attack on Army Public School (APS) protest against delays in the investigation in Peshawar on February 7, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: Hundreds of parents, students and activists Saturday protested outside the school where Taliban militants murdered 153 people over the “sluggish” police investigation into the massacre.

The group gathered at the Army Public School in Peshawar to draw attention to the slow investigation. They say that since the December attack there have been no breakthroughs and they have received little information on the inquiry’s progress.

The school was the site of Pakistan’s deadliest ever terror attack on December 16 last year, in which 134 children were among those killed by heavily-armed militants.

“Sorry kids! No banner large enough to cover the shame of the state and government,” read one banner carried by the protesters, which also had pictures of some of the children killed in the attack.

“Our children were martyred and martyrs never die. They are telling the government not to waste their sacrifice and protect other children,” Raza Bangash, who lost his 14-year old son, told AFP.

“We want a judicial inquiry as we are not satisfied with the ongoing investigations because there seems to be no progress,” Bangash said, as women around him wept clutching portraits of their children.

Saeed Shah, another affected parent, said they were “being kept in the dark about the investigations,” and called on the authorities to be more transparent in their dealings with victims’ families.

Peshawar’s administrator Riaz Mehsud visited the protesting parents and assured them that the government would do all it could to help.

“I stand by you and the provincial government will support you and redress all your grievances,” Mehsud told parents.

Rights activist Sana Ejaz said that civil society groups in Peshawar were firmly behind parents exercising their right to receive better information on police progress.

In the wake of the attack, the government lifted a six-year moratorium on executions for people convicted of terrorism and 22 militants have been hanged since then despite protests from the international community and human rights watchdogs.

The country has also amended its constitution to allow military courts to try terror suspects.

The military said on Saturday that it had received the first batch of 12 terrorism cases to be tried in military courts.

Pakistan’s troops have been engaged in a full-scale offensive against Taliban and other militants in North Waziristan and Khyber tribal districts since June last year.

At the time of the Peshawar attack, the Taliban said it was retaliation for the army’s continuing operation against militants in the tribal areas.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Milind
    Feb 7, 2015 - 7:39PM

    As usual the ire is (mis)directed towards the civilian govt. When will they understand that the all powerful army has and still calls the shots and overrules the civilians in all major decisions. The responsibility for security lies with the army.

    Recommend

  • Dr. Khalid
    Feb 7, 2015 - 8:58PM

    Are these really the parents? There is a whole Zarb e Azb going on. Soldires and Militants are killed everyday and a war is going on! As if the whole country is calm and no one is invistigating this issue! Yes we, I have cried for those children, all citizens, government and army have took the matter serious and are involved to bring those behind the attack to justice. What else do these so called parents want? I think they are overdoing it. Things cannot be done overnight. Army chief and ISI cheif both went to Afghanistan right after this attack. They are working on it. Many many things have taken and are taking place in this regard so I think they should help and cooprate instead of carying banners!

    Recommend

  • zaheer
    Feb 7, 2015 - 9:47PM

    It was an unbearable tragedy and even stonehearted people couldn t help cry over this. I pray Almighty to give the bereaved parents restrain and power to fight that bitter memory. They ve the right of what they are doing and we should support them in all this misery. Recommend

  • Jat
    Feb 7, 2015 - 10:13PM

    @Dr. Khalid: Are these really the parents?

    Wah Dr Khalid wah ! No, they are not the parents of the slain students; obviously they are all RAW and Mossad agents.

    Anyone who does not agree with the Establishment policies are instantaneously turned into traitors, thanks to creatures like Dr Khalid.Recommend

  • SHIRAZ KHAN DURRANI
    Feb 8, 2015 - 12:07AM

    judge is himself a terrorist;fazaullah will do a better enquiry.Recommend

  • Shah
    Feb 8, 2015 - 12:15AM

    @Jat:
    The pointvis if parents want terrorism to dissapear over night …thn sorry tht is impossible. Secondly wht do u propise, bashing for no reason makes no senseRecommend

  • Dr. Khalid
    Feb 8, 2015 - 7:03AM

    @Jat. I don’t know about RAW and Mossad, never said that, may be, but I know there is a “civil society” behind these parents! Also, could you please use your magic power and get the culprits. It’s the creatures like you who whine all the time misguide people, create instability and more problems for personal interests. I have cried myself not one time many times but looking at the entire scenario when there is so much happening, every other day, protests and anarchy are exactly the things terrorists want!Recommend

  • Hugh Slaman
    Feb 8, 2015 - 7:27AM

    @Milind:
    You are living in a fantasy world. If the military called the shots, there would be no need for elaborate discussion to get military courts set up — our civilian politicians violate the constitution in a heartbeat if they can make money or stay in power.
    Our COAS and DG ISI have been pushing for faster action against the terrorists, whereas our fake PML-N rulers, long partners of the terrorist groups, have been stalling and delaying on this action. Pay attention to these parents, as they have more interest in this than you do.
    As for responsibility for our security: the military is the last resort when it comes to security. If they are being used at all–as they constantly are–it means that the rest of us in civilian society, our politicians and ourselves included, FAILED miserably over and over again on multiple fronts.Recommend

  • Feb 8, 2015 - 11:28PM

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1159801
    read website above… these stupied pakistan never learn. Children get killed in peshawar in school and whole pakistan world upset… kids are innocent…but yet these peshawar ppl attacked children and school of christains month so later just because hebdon in france how disguting… these ppl can attack schools and children in thier they sure can kill them. I have no sympathy for ppl like that just shows they would hurt or kill pakistan christain kids of they own country just over relgion yet they sad when they kids got killed by taliban i say they same as taliban no respect for life or they own pakistan kids nevermind the relgion even if they christain <3 jesusRecommend

  • zahra Khalid
    Feb 9, 2015 - 10:18PM

    @Dr. Khalid:
    u must be ashamed to call them so called parents . they lost their sons and u ate insulting them . is crying enough? no one can bring their children back but atleast investigations could be speeded up . u should be ashamed . Recommend

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