Every year, haunting images of blood-soaked books, school bags, dead bodies in school uniforms, and traumatic bereavement of parents on December 16, remind us how terrorism haunted our nation and still haunts innocent lives across the country.
Sher Shah was an APS student of class 10, and initially he succeeded in coming out of the auditorium where terrorists had martyred most of the students. After Sher Shah left the hall, he knew that his younger brother was still inside. He went back for his brother but unfortunately, terrorists killed both brothers along other 132 martyred school children.
An APS survivor Ahmad Nawaz talked to BBC and shared his terrible observations on that day. “I lost my brother Haris Nawaz and saw my friends and teacher die before me, the emotional trauma was too hard to heal.”
Ahmad Nawaz was badly injured then but today he is a start student in UK and works for making a change in the lives of those who have suffered like him at the hands of terrorists. He speaks about his experiences on different forums and plans to move back to Pakistan after completing his education.
“My message to all Pakistanis is to educate your children… I’d humbly request the youth to invest in the country’s development…you are the torch bearers of future.”Ahmad Nawaz
The nation still remembers the tragic day when they sent their children to the school and received bullet-riddled bodies in the evening.
Pakistan’s armed forces launched a comprehensive military operation “Zarb-e-Azb” on June 15, 2014 in North Waziristan to eliminate local and foreign militants and destroy their hideouts. However, terrorists hit the APS and took lives of 147 innocent people including 132 school children 6 months later.
The nation was under huge trauma and demanded to stop categorising Taliban as ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Pakistan’s civil and military leadership conceived the 20-point National Action Plan in January 2015 to curb terrorism.
The APS survivors and parents of the martyred children still are unable to forget the tragedy. They developed multiple diseases, including depression, hypertension and diabetes as the tragedy was beyond their imagination.
The nation still demands, the fight against terrorism must not end until these young victims are avenged.
Awami National Party’s chief Asfandyar Wali Khan said that the wounds of the APS tragedy were not healed despite the passage of four years and the nation was still mourning the loss of precious lives.
“The murderer of innocent children is now a state guest while the victims still await justice,” he said referring to Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former spokesperson of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who is currently in custody of law enforcers.
Social media users have been recalling the unfortunate day and paying tribute to martyrs and their families.
Father of the youngest Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, Ziaudding Yousafzai asked for justice for the martyred children’s families.
Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Manzoor Pashteen on behalf of his ‘upraise’ demanded to punish Ehsanullah Ehsan.
PTM has been protesting for recovery of missing persons in the erstwhile Fata, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and demanding for formation of a ‘truth and reconciliation commission’ to look into the cases of extrajudicial killings and missing persons. A few APS martyr’s families have also joined the movement demanding a commission on the APS massacre.
Pakistan Peoples Party’s senior leader Farhatull Babar said that ‘self confessed assassin’ Ehsanullah Ehsan enjoyed ‘state hospitality’.
Other people have also been recalling and expressing their views on the fourth anniversary of APS, School massacre.
They went to school and never came back. Four years ago this day, the Taliban martyred 140 Pakistani schoolchildren in Peshawar, Pakistan. Let us keep their memories alive. #NeverForget #APSMassacre pic.twitter.com/XQcCWIIeMb— Kashif N Chaudhry (@KashifMD) December 15, 2018
My nephew also died in APS horrifying unforgettable Massacre— hope (@i_agent101) December 15, 2018
Let us make sure it never happens again EVER pic.twitter.com/Cu7UBTromY