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APS mourns two years on: ‘We felt we would never come out of the pain’

Two years after a deadly attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School (APS), a memorial was held at the premises Friday morning to mourn and remember those who had been killed.
APS Peshawar memorial ceremony.

Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Jawed Bajwa laid a wreath and offered Fatiha as he attended the second anniversary of the APS school attack.

While addressing the ceremony the current principal of APS Peshawar said, “That time (of the attack) was very difficult for the whole country. It felt as though we would never be able to come out of this pain. But we came out of that time better and stood strong in front of the enemy.”

Paying tribute to the 144 victims, mostly school children, she said, “We have not forgotten our children, our brave Principal, Tahira Kazi and the young soldiers whose martyrdom strengthened the country. Today, we have gathered to present a tribute to the martyrs. We will always remember them and make this loss a sign of courage and a sign that guides us to success.”
I keep their pictures in my office so I remember the loss: COAS Qamar Jawed Bajwa

Speaking at the memorial the COAS said, “We need to make Pakistan the kind of country that Quaid thought of. We can never forget these children, I have photos of them in my office and keep looking at them periodically to remind me of our losses.”
COAS Bajwa speaking at the memorial.

“We need to remember that these children still live on, they are martyrs. We have organised this Quran Khwani this year, just like last year, we need to not forget this loss.” he added.

“We have taken some steps to help the families these children left behind. The siblings of the martyred children are being provided the best possible education in Pakistan,” said Gen Bajwa.

The Army chief concluded his address saying, “The armed forces are working day and night to make this country a better, safer place.”

Army officers, school staff and parents of victims were also present at the memorial.

Speaking at a memorial held in Islamabad, State Minister for Information, Marriyum Aurangzeb said, “The whole nation went through the pain that the families of the martyred children went through in 2014.”

“After the attack, the National Action Plan was presented and implemented successfully. The Army has translated the Prime Minister’s vision of the NAP into reality. We thank the soldiers that leave their homes to protect ours,” she added.

At least 144 lives were lost in the Peshawar school massacre of December 16, 2014, the deadliest terrorist attack in Pakistan’s history.

Two year on, the children go to school every day and the auditorium where most of the bloodshed took place, is now a sports hall. Soldiers stand atop fortified walls but the memory of the attack is still fresh.

courtesy : dawn news

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