PM, Army Chief arrive APS to attend first anniversary of martyrs
PESHAWAR : It was on this day last year that terrorists struck the unkindest cut of all. One hundred and twenty-two children and 22 staff were methodically killed in a sickening Taliban rampage at the Army Public School in Peshawar.
The appalling massacre shocked not only the Pakistani nation but the whole world, and prompted a paradigm change in the country’s counter terrorism strategy. The nation is observing the first anniversary of the gruesome assault on Wednesday.
The ceremony at the Army Public School commenced with the arrival of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif. Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar are also present at the ceremony.
Television footage showed the Army chief receiving the families of the APS attack victims at gates of the venue. Families of those who lost their lives in the event participated in a parade holding up photos of the victims.
The proceedings began with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran by an APS student. The attendees then stood up as the National Anthem was sung by APS students.
The chief ministers of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan and premier of Azad Jammu and Kashmir are among those attending the ceremony. Ambassadors of several countries along with services chiefs and provincial and federal ministers are also attending.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan commemorated the horrific attack in a series of tweets, expressing resolve against terrorism and extremism. Jamaat e Islami chief Sirajul Haq and Minister of State Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of JUI-F were also present on the occasion.