Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan on Wednesday inaugurated the work on a monument to the victims of the Army Public School Peshawar attacks amid protest by parents of the deceased students against the government’s failure to set up a judicial commission into the massacre and fix responsibility on anyone for security failure.
During the ceremony organised to mark the first death anniversary of the Dec 16, 2014, APS attack, Imran assured protesters that ‘all-out’ efforts would be made to fulfil their demands. The monument will be built on the premises of the Directorate of Achieves and Libraries. Mothers were seen with tearful eyes when a song made by the provincial information department about the APS attack was played in the ceremony. Displayed at the Achieves Hall were the things of the deceased schoolchildren including books, belts, pens, glasses, caps and gloves, while pictures of the students was exhibited on the walls of the building. The PTI chief also announced the naming of the Technical University under construction in Nowshera after the APS attack victims and said the incidence of terrorism had decreased in the country due to the sacrifices of the schoolchildren.“It was the APS tragedy, which united all political parties against terrorism.
We cannot bring back your children. We only can pray and share your grief,” he told parents of the deceased. Imran said the future of the children was secure due to the sacrifices of APS students. Earlier, a group of the aggrieved parents began yelling when Imran came to the dais for speech. They asked why their children were brutally assassinated; why the judicial commission to probe the massacre had not been made, and why the responsibility for security failure was not being fixed even after a lapse of one year. The disturbance lasted for a while in the already gloomy atmosphere. The organisers tried to pacify parents but Imran asked protesters to come to the dais and convey their grievances to him. Fazle Khan advocate, father of one of the APS attack victims, said: “we don’t need money, plots or other compensation. We need justice only. Everything happening over the APS attack is drama,” he said.
He asked why provincial police’s chief Nasir Khan Durrani had not been suspended over statement that the APS attack occurred due to the security lapse. The man also asked why only a head constable and a constable was deputed at the APS despite intelligence report circulated on August 28, 2014 about the possible militant attack on the school. He said only a judicial commission could properly investigate the massacre. The man said the Turkish government had established a monument months ago to the victims of the APS attack but unfortunately, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had yet to do so. On the occasion, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said victims of the APS attack would be remembered forever. He said international community had declared the APS massacre the ‘9/11’ terrorist attacks for Pakistan. The chief minister said terrorists had attacked places of worship and schools and killed thousands of innocent people though Islam didn’t allow the assassination of even non-Muslims without reason.