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Pakistan mourns APS massacre on sixth anniversary

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ISLAMABAD: The sixth anniversary of the tragic incident of terrorist attack on Army Public School (APS) Peshawar was observed on Wednesday.
One hundred forty-seven people, including students and teachers, were martyred in the terrorist attack on December 16, 2014, making it the deadliest act of terrorism in Pakistan’s history.
President Arif Alvi said this incident brought tears in the eyes of the nation. He said the children laid their lives and brought focus of the nation to suppress terrorism with all its might.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan remains determined and is moving forward in fulfilling its commitment against the menace of terrorism. In a tweet, he said the extreme act of terrorism against children and teachers of Peshawar Army Public School six years ago shocked and grieved the entire nation. He said the nation came together with a resolve to take on those responsible.
“After the APS attack in 2014, our people had decided to fight the war against terrorism together and now you can see that the law-and-order situation of the country is completely different,” he said.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the massacre continues to remain a scar on the collective memory of the nation. “We cannot forget the agony of this day,” it stated on Twitter.
Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser has paid tribute to the martyred children and teachers in the tragedy of Army Public School Peshawar. In a statement on Wednesday, he said December 16 was the darkest day in the history of Pakistan.
The speaker said the whole nation salutes the martyrs in the war on terror and it is united against terrorism. He said armed forces of the country have eliminated the menace of terrorism with the support of the entire nation.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said, “We must reaffirm our commitment that we will not let the successes against terrorism go waste.” In a tweet on Wednesday, he said on 16th December every year, the anniversary of the APS tragedy renews pain in the hearts of the nation when terrorists martyred innocent kids and gave the nation an unforgettable grief.
The minister said the personnel of the armed forces and the law enforcement agencies as well as a large number of people rendered sacrifices in the war on terror. Saluting these martyrs, he prayed that may Allah Almighty grant their souls high ranks in heaven and also give patience to the bereaved families.
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar reflected that December 16, 2014 was a dark day for humanity.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari noted that the bloodshed of innocent children and martyrs of the APS attack continue to shake the “conscience of the nation until the perpetrators and facilitators of this gory crime were not brought to justice”.
“Being the son of a martyr Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, I, and the PPP, stand in complete solidarity with these parents,” he added.
“The terrorists snatched children and our future,” wrote PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz. She added that the martyrs were avenged by the armed forces during her father, Nawaz Sharif’s, government.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman said the nation “will never forget what they [martyrs] did for the cause of the nation”.
“Sacrifices of the students martyred in the tragic APS incident would always be remembered,” said KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, adding that the security forces and the nation are united to eliminate terrorism from the society and the government would always extend a helping hand to the bereaved families of the APS.
“Words will never be enough,” wrote KP Finance and Health minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra. “On this day, the memory of those who sacrificed their lives at #APSPeshawar must spur us on to build a country where the future of millions of children is bright.” – TLTP