PESHAWAR: NGOs held a vigil in Gor Gathri on Thursday for those who lost their lives in the war against terrorism and in sectarian violence in the country.
Workers of End Violence against Women, Aurat Foundation, UN-Women, Noor Education Trust and Bridge Foundation participated in the prayer ceremony. They urged the government to take steps on war footing for the rehabilitation and well-being of the dependants left being by those who died for the country.
They said the efforts should not only be directed towards families of Army Public School victims but also the families of those who died in attacks in mosques, imambargahs, churches etc.
“People have been dying for years. Neither the federal government nor the provincial government have any precise statistics on the number of terror affectees,” said EVAW co-chairperson Muhammad Fida. He said violence has had an impact on every section of society, adding the government should also pay attention towards medics who work day and night during such emergencies.
Aurat Foundation’s Sherin Jabed said December 16 should be commemorated at the national level as it was the most horrific day in the history of Pakistan. She said all students injured in the APS attack should have been promoted without being made to sit for exams in a traumatic state of mind.
EVAW FATA coordinator Younis Afridi said the tribal belt’s grievances are even worse. “Still over a million tribal children are out of school,” he said, adding the few educational institutions that exist in the region have been destroyed due to militancy.
“The only way the sacrifices of APS victims can be honoured is by constructing more schools in their name across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal heartlands.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2015.