Pakistan pays tributes to Peshawar school attack victims

Islamabad, Dec 16 (IANS) Pakistan on Wednesday paid tributes to the victims of Peshawar’s Army Public School attack on the first anniversary of the massacre.

The country’s top civil and military leadership, in a solemn ceremony at the school, honoured those who lost their lives during the terrorist attack last year. The attack left at least 160 people killed, most of them school children.

Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif termed the attack “an incident that shook the nation” and announced that December 16 would be observed as the day of “national educational resolve”, Dawn online reported.

Sharif thanked the political leadership with whose cooperation the constitution was amended to set up military courts, and the National Action Plan was formulated to counter terrorism in the country.

“Our brave forces, security and civil institutions have come together as one in this mission,” the prime minister said, adding that operation Zarb-e-Azb has broken the back of terrorists.

“The blood of our children speaks in our war against terrorism,” Sharif said.

Sharif said he desires that whenever people recall the sacrifices of those children and their teachers, they also remember that they have to eliminate the darkness of illiteracy from Pakistan.

Families of those who lost their lives participated in a parade holding up photos of the victims.

In another display of solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar school attack, vehicular traffic remained halted for two minutes beginning 10 a.m. in Lahore, and one-minute silence was observed to mark the tragic incident.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan commemorated the attack in a series of tweets, expressing resolve against terrorism and extremism.

Meanwhile, families of the children killed or wounded in the attack have accused the government of breaking its promise of providing medical treatment and justice.

The relatives of the victims said they will attend the official anniversary commemoration on Wednesday, but vowed to pressure the authorities into delivering on their commitments.

Pakistan on December 2 executed four terrorists, at a prison in the city of Kohat, who were involved in the Army Public School attack. The responsibility of the attack was claimed by Pakistani Taliban.

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