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December 17, 2015

Candlelit vigils, rallies pay tribute to APS martyrs


December 17, 2015


A meeting of Administrative Secretaries’ Committee chaired by Punjab Chief Secretary Khizar Hayat Gondal paid homage to martyrs of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar, at Civil Secretariat on Wednesday. 

Addressing the meeting, the chief secretary said that the Peshawar tragedy gave a new spirit to the nation for fighting terrorism. The whole nation is united in the war against terrorism, he added.

Administrative Secretaries said that such acts of terrorism cannot shake determination of people. They expressed appreciation and admiration of the valour and bravery of the law enforcing agencies including the Pakistan Army, Punjab Police and Pakistan Rangers in combating terrorism. The sacrifices made by the law enforcing agencies and ordinary citizens shall not go in vain and these sacrifices would always be remembered, they maintained. The participants reiterated the resolve that they would use all their energies to uproot terrorism from the country.

A resolution in recognition of Punjab government's efforts to fight terrorism, success of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, and meritorious services of Shaheed Shuja Khanzada was also presented in the meeting. Those among present were Additional Chief Secretary Shumail Khwaja, secretaries of Home, Information and Culture, Auqaf and other departments.

Later, Dua for the victims of Peshawar massacre was arranged in Civil Secretariat. The chief secretary, secretaries of different departments, senior officers and employees of civil secretariat participated in the ceremony. 

Solidarity: Tanzim Ittehad Ummat (TIU) observed solidarity day with the martyred children of Army Public School, Peshawar on Wednesday at different ceremonies in memory of those children and also lighted candles.

The TIU leaders held a candle lighting ceremony at Faisal Chowk, where intellectuals, leaders, women and children were also invited. Addressing on the occasion, Ziaul Haq Naqshbandi reaffirmed the pledge to support the operation Zarb-a-Azb against the terrorists until the complete clean-up of the terrorist elements.

They offered special prayers for the martyred children and soldiers.

Rallies: In the memory of the innocent children who lost their lives at Army Public School, Peshawar on 16th of December, 2014 and all other victims of terrorism, the members of Rwadari Tehreek held rallies and candle vigils to express solidarity with the victims and show unity against religious extremism, intolerance and terrorism. 

The participants of the rallies and vigils were carrying anti-extremism, and anti-terrorism banners and placards, and chanted slogans against violence in the name of religion and demanded the implementation of the National Action Plan in letter and spirit.The members of Rwadari Tehreek unanimously demanded to declare 16th of December a “National Day Against Extremism and Terrorism” in solidarity with all the victims of terrorism and as a sign of our commitment against religious extremism, intolerance and terrorism and suggested that the Year 2016 should be declared a Year for Rwadari (religious tolerance and respect of religious diversity). 

PU: Punjab University Directorate of Students Affairs organises a mega event at Faisal Auditorium on Thursday (today) at 10am to pay tribute to Army Public School victims. Later, PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran will lead a rally to be organised by PU Academic Staff Association from Faisal Auditorium to VC office at 12noon.

Meanwhile, on the 1st anniversary of the barbaric attack on Army Public School Peshawar by enemies of humanity and Pakistan, Punjab University Academic Staff Association (ASA) President Dr Hassan Mobeen Alam and Secretary Dr Mahboob Hussain saluted the children and teachers of APS who lost their lives at the hand of terrorists but united the Pakistani nation against terrorists. 

CDGL: District Administration Lahore organised functions at 75 important Chowks of the Provincial Capital to pay homage to martyred APS students and teachers here Wednesday.CDGL sirens buzzed the city at 10am after which national anthem was run on speakers, installed at 75 important Chowks, through FM Radio Channels, officials said, adding the entire traffic of provincial capital, running on all roads of city, became standstill and all traffic signals turned into red. 

Hundreds of citizens had also become silent for one minute to pay homage to the students of APS which was attacked by terrorist one year back on the same day. 

DCO Lahore Captain (R) Muhammad Usman said that Lahorites had participated in all function organised for APS students in the Commemorative week for which they deserved appreciation. He said that the closing ceremony of week would be held today (Thursday) at Town Hall at 09:15 am morning. Moreover, City District Government, Lahore held a prayer ceremony at DCO Office Mosque for APS martyrs after Zohar prayers. 

A large number of citizens participated in the ceremony. Senior Administrative Officer Tariq Chandio, PRO Imran Maqbool, officials of CDGL also participated in ceremony. A sapling was also planted by Senior Administrative Officer DCO Office in remembrance of the APS students.

WPC: A terror attack on Army Public School (APS) last year in Peshawar was not just an attack on a school, leaving 148 students and school staff members dead, rather it was an attack on our future, says Women Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) Punjab. 

On the first anniversary of the martyrs of the APS tragedy, WPC conveys heart-felt sympathy to the bereaved families and survivors of the terrible incident that shook Pakistan on Dec 16, 20015. 

Comprising female members of Punjab Assembly, WPC believes that the APS attack highlighted the continued vulnerability of Pakistan’s vulnerable communities, particularly children. The incident was one of the ruthless attacks the country ever suffered from, the WPC adds. 

WPC acknowledges the great sacrifice of APS children and their families, which ultimately united the nation in its resolve to deal with the growing threat of terrorism. On the first anniversary, we should review our performance against the menace of terrorism and strive for accomplishing the task, the WPC said. 

“The nation stands united to fight against terrorism. We can never be defeated. “We mourn with the mothers of the martyred students of APS and share their profound grief, it said. 

Women MPAs reiterated their commitment to wipe out militancy through education. “We join forces, regardless of party affiliation, to raise awareness on the issues of security and education for all. WPC is committed to contribute for legislation against rising extremism in society,” the Women MPAs said. 

All the members present in WPC meeting held in Lahore unanimously approved a resolution moved by Nabeela Hakim Ali condemning the brutal attack on Army Public School last year. 

Traffic: City Traffic Police paid tribute to the martyrs of APS Peshawar by closing traffic signals for one minute, ringing sirens and presenting national anthem on roads. CTO Tayyab Hafeez Cheema said City Traffic Police were utilising all-out resources to maintain flow of traffic as well as playing role in maintaining law and order in the City. He added crackdown against tinted glasses, illegal number plates, and suspicious vehicles was part of its efforts against terrorism. He directed traffic wardens to stay vigilant against suspicious items and persons. He also appealed to the citizens for cooperation in this regard.

Meanwhile, CTO distributed gifts of colour pencils and drawing books among 550 children to build confidence among them and pay tribute to the APS martyrs. A simple ceremony in this regard was held at Katchehri Chowk. SSP VVIP Security Athar Ismael, National Safety Manager Tasleem Shuja and other officers were also present.

UET: Provincial Minister for Finance Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha has said that the sacrifice of martyrs of Peshawar has united the entire nation against terrorism, extremism, sectarianism and intolerance. She said that every child of the nation was standing with the APS martyrs and all of them were raising slogan to establish peace and make Pakistan a developed country and promote education. She said that this was the mission started by the innocent children of Peshawar.

She expressed these views while addressing a function held in commemoration with Peshawar tragedy, at University of Engineering & Technology on Wednesday. Vice-Chancellor of the University, faculty members, teachers, research scholars and a large number of students were present on the occasion.

The provincial minister said that our youth are determined that they will not let repeat Peshawar tragedy in our country. She said that operation Zarb-e-Azb and National Action Plan was being forwarded successfully against terrorism; we have to march forward for rooting out the menace of terrorism; to promote such education which should discourage attitudes like intolerance and extremism. She said that we have to remove all such material from our textbooks which is creating sectarianism. 

Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said that we want Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal and not the Pakistan of terrorists and extremists. Earlier, the provincial minister also led a walk on the University premises arranged by teachers and students for expressing solidarity with the martyrs of APS Peshawar.

Earlier, Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Fazal Ahmad Khalid in his welcome address thanked the chief guest for sparing her valuable time to attend this ceremony and highlighted the role of Finance Department in support of quality education.

Hamza: PML-N central leader MNA Hamza Shahbaz has said the supreme sacrifices of the martyrs of APS Peshawar tragedy will always be remembered and the nation is determined to root out the menace of terrorism from the country.

He said Pakistan is a nuclear power and the country of 20 crore people and the elements who were trying to destroy the country have been defeated. He said Pak army, rangers and other law enforcement agencies are trying to ensure a safe future for the coming generations. 

Hamza Shehbaz was addressing the main ceremony held on the first anniversary of Peshawar tragedy at Aiwan-e-Iqbal on Wednesday. He said the nation is still grieved at the brutality committed against the innocent students of APS. He said there is a need to learn from this tragedy and promote unity in the nation. He said it is not the status or name but the good deeds which were always remembered. Hamza Shehbaz expressed solidarity with the parents of the martyrs of Peshawar tragedy and said the nation salutes these brave persons who even after losing their children, prayed for the solidarity of the country.

Emotional scenes were witnessed at the function held at Aiwan-e-Iqbal. Five-year-old child Ghulam Murtaza sang a song and Hamza Shehbaz called him at the stage and kissed him. Similarly, a minor female student delivered highly emotional speech on the topic of Peshawar tragedy. Renowned poet Amjad Salam Amjad presented his verses on the topic “tum zinda ho” and Hamza Shehbaz gave him standing ovation. Female students of dramatic society of Lahore College University presented skits whereas Hamid Ali Khan and his son sang song “yeh wada raha” and Hamza Shahbaz and all participants also sang the song with them. 

A documentary comprising opinion of PM, Chief of Army Staff, CM and various persons was presented. Photographs of martyred male and female students were displayed at Aiwan-e-Iqbal and Hamza Shahbaz in the beginning of his address said that the real chief guests are these martyrs upon which all participants clapped. Punjab Ministers Malik Nadeem Kamran, Zakia Shahnawaz, Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rahman, Kh Salman Rafique, MNAs and MPAs, chief secretary, IGP, secretaries, vice-chancellors, principals, teachers and a large number of male and female students from various educational institutions attended the function.

SZH: In the memory of martyrs of Army Public School, Peshawar, a special prayer ceremony was held at Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Medical & Dental College, Lahore.

Dr Farid Ahmad Khan (Chairman & Dean SZMC and Principal SKZMDC), Prof Tafazul Haq Mehmood (Vice-Principal), administrative officers, faculty members and other staff participated in the ceremony.

Legal community: Legal community on Wednesday showed complete solidarity with students of Peshawar Army Public School, who laid their lives in the wake of terrorist attack last year on December 16. 

The Bar Associations held different ceremonies and organised special sittings to pay tribute to them for their valour and bravery against terrorism. 

The lawyers abstained from appearing before the courts and gathered at different places to mark December 16 as black day. The lawyers, in different groups, organised candle vigils and chanted slogans in favour of APS teachers and students.

They stated that courage and bravery of students protected the future generations and gave a certain direction to the state authority to make a special law and policy to fight against the terrorism. The terrorism had badly damaged the country and it should be crushed with iron hands. 

Lahore High Court Bar Association strongly condemned the coward act of terrorists. They said it was shameful that terrorists attacked innocent children. 

The Bar also passed condemnation resolution on the incident. Pakistan Bar Council also adopted the same resolution to condemn the incident. The lawyers unanimously demanded the government to bring the culprits to justice and take stern steps to control terrorism.

Sacrifices: Adviser to CM on Health Kh Salman Rafique has said December 16 is a very important day in the history of Pakistan. He said conspiracies of enemies divided Pakistan on December 16, 1971 and again on December 16, 2014 terrorists martyred 150 children and teachers in the worst terrorists attack on Army Public School Peshawar. He said the blood of martyred children has not gone waste but the sacrifices of innocent children have united the whole nation against terrorism. He said political leadership, Pakistan Army and the nation are on the same page in the war against terrorism.

He expressed these views while addressing a ceremony arranged in the memory of martyrs of APS, Peshawar, at psycho-trauma centre King Edward Medical University on Wednesday. On this occasion, head of Psychiatry Department Prof Aftab Asif, DG Health Dr Amjad Shehzad, Associated Prof Dr Ali Hashmi and a number of doctors and students were present. 

Kh Salman Rafique said that the worst ever act of terrorism on December 16, 2014 in APS has entirely changed the whole country. He said while paying tributes to the martyrs we have to review ourselves that what we did for the betterment of new generation, peace and prosperity of Pakistan. Kh Salman Rafique stressed the need to convert our emotions into a permanent source of inspiration and energy which should be used for the development and prosperity of the country. Kh Salman Rafique appreciated the new song prepared by ISPR “we have to educate the children of our enemy”. He said that this new song has highlighted the importance of education. Kh Salman Rafique said that the song has shown new way to eradicate terrorism by educating each and every child of the nation. 

Earlier, Prof Aftab Asif highlighted the activities of psycho-trauma centre. He said that training has been imparted in the center to the stakeholders who always reach the spot in any disaster or incident and face the situation, which include rescue 1122, police officials, teachers of universities and colleges and media personnel.

Dr Aftab Asif disclosed forensic psychiatry has also been started in the centre. He said that in present circumstances, the importance of psycho-trauma centres has been enhanced and there is a need to provide training to all the stakeholders how to perform their duties in case of any disaster or emergent situation.

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