Pakistan set to mark first anniversary of APS martyrs
PESHAWAR : All arrangements have been finalised to observe the first death anniversary of the martyrs of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar today (Wednesday) with great respect and to express solidarity with the bereaved families.
The KP government has announced a public holiday on the occasion in Peshawar to express solidarity with martyrs’ families. The day will dawn with special prayers to be offered at mosques for peace, progress and prosperity in the country and eternal peace for the martyred students, teachers. Special prayers will also be offered besides Quran khwanis will be arranged in all districts of KP. The main function will be held at APS Peshawar in the morning in which political leadership and military officials, students and parents of the deceased students will pay tributes to the victims for their sacrifices.
The KP government has chalked out comprehensive programmes in connection with the day to give a strong message to terrorists that the whole nation stands united to wipe them out from the country. The mainstream political leadership will attend the death anniversary function at APS where a Martyrs’ Monument has been constructed and will be inaugurated on the occasion. On the day, the Public and Archives’ Library at Peshawar Museum will be named after APS martyrs in a special ceremony that will be attended by PTI chief Imran Khan.
He will also lead a peace march from Chief Minister’s Secretariat to Peshawar Municipal Library after attending the anniversary function. The KP government has already named 122 government schools and three roads after the APS victims, while five schools in FATA, two in Punjab and one in Balochistan have also renamed after APS martyrs. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has approved renaming of 122 colleges and schools of Islamabad after martyred students of APS to remember their sacrifices forever. Apart from it, the federal government has announced Tamgha-e-Shujaat for 142 deceased and Sitara-e-Shujaat for two.
A psycho-social rehabilitation centre was established for the parents of all terrorism-affected APS students at the Combined Military Hospital Peshawar, where therapies were provided. The affected families were offered Umrah package, while students, teachers and their guardians visited friendly countries, including the US, China, Turkey and Oman as part of rehabilitation measures. The package for the affected families included jobs for next to kin of attack victims, free education for one sibling, admission for injured students in cadet colleges and payment of Rs 2 million for bereaved families.
Under the package, as many as 91 injured students were admitted to different cadet colleges of the country and the province. The provincial government has given Rs 338 million to the heirs of deceased, while the federal government provided Rs 86.8 million along with national awards. Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Information and Spokesman of KP government, Mushtaq Ghani told media the other day that as many as 855 family members of 142 martyrs were sent for Umrah. APS incident was a national tragedy of that claimed a total 151 lives including 144 students of APS. Following the attack, the government took solid measures including setting up military courts and lifting ban on capital punishment to eliminate terrorism from the country.