ISLAMABAD: The Peshawar APS attack was a dark day in the history of Pakistan, one that must never be forgotten to ensure that nothing close to it ever happens again. This is the reason human rights activists gathered at Parliament Chowk to mark six months of unceasing grief and outrage at the brutal loss of life in the gun and bomb attack on December 16, 2014 in Peshawar.
The rally’s participants solemnly pledged that they will never forget the children, their teachers and the brave principal and will always honour their memory. They also pledged that despite the circumstances and conditions, they will always continue to pay tribute and stand in solidarity with the victims of the APS attack and their families, and survivors.
Farzana Bari, a human rights activist who was leading the rally, told The Express Tribune that it is the responsibility of citizens of Pakistan to ensure that the unfortunate event is not forgotten. She said “It is our responsibility to make the government feel accountable and to question whether the mastermind behind the attack has been caught. Those children deserved to live and therefore we can never forget them”.
Zubaida Khatoon, an activist from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, said “This is the completion of six months since the event, and the civil society made a resolution from day one to remember them [victims] always. The tragedy was so great that it cannot be forgotten. Had it not been for the civil society, the voice would have been silenced and the children would have been forgotten already.”
The rally aimed to question the federal and provincial governments, legislators, judiciary, law-enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies on their commitment and progress — or the lack thereof — in implementing the 20-point National Action Plan implemented with much fanfare after the brutal attack.
Among the aims of the rally was to demand simultaneous and even-handed action on all aspects of plan, without fear of political or terrorist backlash, and without targeting particular segments, groups or organisations in Pakistani society. The participants also called for de-weaponisation of society to get rid of terrorism and crime.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2015.
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