Pakistan today observed the third anniversary of Peshawar school massacre in which at least 150 people, mostly students, were killed with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi terming it a “black day” and vowing to eliminate militancy from the country. Taliban militants stormed military-run Army Public School (APS) in the northwestern city of Peshawar on December 16, 2014, killing at least 150 people, mostly children. “The memory of the APS victims would continues to disturb us. This day would keep recalling us as how many innocent souls we had sacrificed to purge our homeland of terrorists,” Abbasi said in his message on the anniversary.
He said the day would be remembered as a “black day in the history of Pakistan when barbaric elements targeted the innocent children of a Peshawar school”. Abbasi urged the nation to make a pledge to build a democratic society with zero tolerance for violence and extremism in name of religion, sect, ethnicity or race. “The Pakistani nation has rendered unprecedented sacrifices in the war against terrorism, more than any other nation in the world,” he said.
The APS tragedy had led to the historic national unity and promoted the nation to make a firm resolve for unanimously launching a decisive action against terrorists, Abbasi said. He said the Pakistani security forces had defeated terrorists under the National Action Plan (NAP). “The blood of the innocent people has come to fruition making the Pakistani nation the only nation across the world that had defeated the terrorists,” he claimed.
Abbasi said it was also the day to “renew our national resolve against terrorism and keep extremists away from our ranks”. “The entire Pakistani nation pays tribute to its innocent martyrs, Pakistan Army, police and security forces and makes a pledge to take this struggle to its logical end,” he said. President Mamnoon Hussain said the incident was not only a “national tragedy but an eye opener to renew the national pledge against extremism and terrorism”. He said the country had witnessed the efforts put forth by the security forces to eliminate terrorism.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in his message said that the “great sacrifice of innocent beloved children & their brave families remains unforgettable”. “It symbolises our undeterred resolve in love of our motherland. Your sacrifice has not gone in vain, we owe this improving peace to you,” he said.