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

Protestors gather at APS to draw attention to slow investigation; say they received little information on progress

Afp February 07, 2015
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.


zahra Khalid | 9 years ago | Reply @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 .
Mena333 | 9 years ago | Reply 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 jesus
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