“We Stand with APS Survivors”, says Imran Khan on 7th Anniversary of APS Attack
As the nation witnessed the seventh anniversary of the APS Peshawar massacre on Thursday, PM Imran Khan assured that the country “is victorious against terrorism” and promised that he “stands with the parents and survivors of the vicious attack”.
On December 16th, 2014, 131 school children and 10 other individuals were slaughtered when militants stormed the Army Public School in Peshawar making this event the most gruesome terrorist attack in the nation’s history.
The attack jolted the entire nation as militia men entered the school and opened fire on hundreds of students attending classes in the morning. The then commander of the banned Tehreek-eTailiban Pakistan, Umer Mansoor had claimed responsibility of the butchery.
On 9th July 2016, in a joint action carried out by the US government and Pakistan Army, Umer Mansoor was killed when a US led drone strike hit the Nangarhar province in Afghanistan.
Remembering this dark day yesterday, the PM tweeted claiming that there is “zero tolerance for violence and those using it as a tool.”
The opposition leader, Shahbaz Sharif spoke at the national assembly calling this the most agonizing day for Pakistan and inquired “if we have taken any lessons from the incident and altered our path?”
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party said that the nation is still hurt calling the APS attack “a great catastrophe”, where he also stressed the fact that “the martyred souls, parents and the entire nation is still waiting for justice to be served.” He also demanded that the “monsters” who strategized, carried out and supported the brutal murder of students and teachers be brought to justice as soon as possible.
A week after this gruesome incident took place. On December 24th 2014, the then PM Nawaz Sharif proclaimed the formulation of a broad strategy to defeat what was being called the most prominent threat to Pakistani society. After several rounds of meetings with parliamentary leaders and military officials, a National Action Plan (NAP) was devised dubbing this a decisive moment in the nation’s fight against terrorism.
The National Action Plan (NAP) called for effective registration and regulation of Madrasas, action against adoration of terrorists groups, action against terrorist communication networks, action against the sharing of religious hate material on social media and other platforms. To end the tendency of militancy, NAP also included an operation in Karachi to constrict space for militant outfits in the metropolis.
However, the NAP document also came under discussion earlier this month when Human Rights Minister, Dr. Shireen Mazari called for a review of the document under the light of blasphemy allegations. This took place after a Sri Lankan national, Priyantha Kumara was publically lynched on the streets of Sialkot.
She expressed concerns regarding the growing extremist mindset that is sweeping the nation and urged NAP to be fully enforced in order to combat extremism.
The APS attack’s judicial commission, formed in October 2018, headed by Justice Mohammad Ibrahim Khan reported that terrorist activates planned by Pakistan’s enemies reached their peak in the 2013-14 era. However, “this does not allow us to forsake our sensitive installations and soft targets to be preyed on by terrorist outfits.”
The report stressed the fact that the APS terrorists were able to easily reach the school’s locality due to unrestricted and unmarked movement of Afghan refugees and deemed it “unacceptable” for any individual providing assistance to the nation’s enemies.