On December 16, Taliban gunmen martyred 151 people, most of them children, at Army Public School on Warsak Road, Pesahwar.
The main ceremony to mark the day took place at Army Public School in Peshawar where families of the victims, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, chief ministers of all four provinces, PTI chief Imran Khan and other high officials were present.
Relatives were accompanied by students bearing images of their loved ones as they spoke one by one of children with bright smiles who worried about their hair and handwriting but had dreams of being artists and engineers.
Today, public holiday has been declared in Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Various organizations are holding functions including rallies, seminars, and symposia to pay homage to the martyrs.
During the ceremony, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Rashad Mahmood distributed medals to the families of the APS victims, along with rights to plots of land.
CM Sindh Qaim Ali Shah, CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, CM Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak, CM Balochistan Abdul Malik Baloch, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) CM Hafeezur Rehman and KP Governor Mehtab Khan Abbasi also distributed medals among the families of the victims.
PM VOWS REVENGE
“My children, today I make this promise to you, that I will take revenge for every drop of your blood,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, addressing the victims directly.
He said that time has come to root out terrorism.
The Prime Minister said the 16th December APS tragedy has united the whole nation and fixed the future course for Pakistan.
He announced to observe this day as the day of Qaumi Azm-e-Taleem (National Resolve to promote Education).
Nawaz Sharif also paid tributes to the armed forces for waging a valiant campaign against terrorism under the leadership of Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and completely eliminating the terrorists.
Earlier in honour of the fallen souls, the Prime Minter has approved to rename 122 schools and colleges of the Islamabad Capital Territory after martyrs of Army Public School.
The government has also announced to rename 10 schools in Punjab while 5 in FATA in the memory of the martyred students.
The second major ceremony to salute the courage of the survivors will be held in Archives Hall in Peshawar. This event will be attended by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, Chief Minister (CM) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervaiz Khattak, parents of the martyrs and those who survive the heart wrenching incident.
Authorities have deployed paramilitary forces and police in major cities
“Security has been beefed up throughout the country and additional police troops have been deployed in major cities, while paramilitary troops have been deployed at places deemed sensitive,” a spokesman for the Interior Ministry told AFP Wednesday without elaborating.
Army Public Schools across the country are “particularly under threat”, he said, especially in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, which neighbours the capital Islamabad.
The attack hardened public opinion against extremism and prompted a military-led crackdown that has improved security, with 2015 on course for the fewest deaths linked to extremist violence since 2007, the year the Tehreek-e-Taliban was formed.
In August, after a military trial that took place behind closed doors, the army announced that six militants linked to the Peshawar assault would be executed, while a seventh was given a life sentence.
On December 2, four were hanged at dawn in a prison in the northwestern city of Kohat, enraging parents who wanted to witness their deaths.
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