Saniha E Peshawar Essay Writing


AGE 13


Ahmed Ali Shah

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Khalid Mehmood (late) and Jameela Kosar
Siblings: Mohammad Ahmed (12)

Ahmed was wise beyond his years, his mother says, possibly because he lost his father when he was 4-years-old. He had assumed a tremendous responsibility at a young age, as a result of which, unlike other children his age, he would not ask his mother to buy him anything.

Bright and studious, Ahmed had a beautiful singing voice. He was often called upon to recite Naats. He would detail his future plans to his mother; he wanted to become an auto engineer. He would sketch designs and tell his mother he would build real cars one day.

His mother says he was an old soul, and because of his love for poetry, his mother would often lovingly refer to him as Shair, Ashfaq Ahmed. After his father, he took care of me, his mother says.

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Azaan Toraylay

Age: 13
Class: 9

Son of Major (retd) Sohailur Rahman and Zil-i-Huma Gul Sohail
* Siblings: Hayan Nangyalay (19), Hassaan Baryalay (17), Aman Gul Sohail (14) and Wadan Numyalay (8)*

Azaan Toraylay was true to his name (means brave in Pashto). Azaan wished to join the Pakistan Army like his father. Once, he even performed guard duty when his father’s vehicle gave way in Shikarpur on the Grand Trunk road. His father says Azaan kept watch through the night so he and his friends could sleep.

Azaan was also fond of keeping pets. His father recalls how when Azaan passed, his pet dog was saddened to the extent that he got sick, and for about 20 days, refused to eat any food. Young Azaan was also fond of playing cricket. He would urge his father to arrange informal cricket tournaments with his friends.

Proud of Azaan, his family regards him as a brave boy. But the tears in their eyes betray how with him gone, their life has changed so much.

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Fahid Hussain

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Hussain and Seema Nawab

For Fahid’s parents, he was something of a gift. He was their only child and they cherished every moment they spent with him.

His parents shifted from their village to Peshawar so Fahid could get a good education. He wanted to be an Air Force pilot.

He loved sports, especially basketball and cricket. He was part of the school team and also played in the neighbourhood. He prayed to God to give him another sibling to practice with. His parents are devastated by the death of their son.

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Gul Sher

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Shehnaz and Muhammad Nasir Gul
Siblings: Emaan (12), Warda Nasir (10), Khushbakht Nasir (7) and Waresha Nasir (4)

Gul Sher was a good student. He was House Captain at his school and hoped to be a doctor some day. He wanted to be a famous heart surgeon and open hospital that would treat patients free of charge.

He loved playing football and would often take his football shoes to school. According to his mother, he was particular about being tidy and dressed like a gentleman. He wouldn’t use a bathroom if it was not clean.

He liked parrots but did not have pets as he didn’t want to keep them in cages. He had a good memory and was always the one to remind his friends and relatives about the birthdays of others.

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Hamid Ali Khan

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Sher Ali Khan and Farman Nissah
Siblings: Sidra Ali Khan (16), Jawad Ali Khan (11) and Sana Ali Khan (4)

Hamid was a charming young boy. He was soft-spoken and had the kindest heart. He was an excellent student and was popular at school. He loved his little sister Sana very much. He wanted to be a doctor and open a hospital for the poor.

He was fond of animals. His brother Jawad says Hamid once adopted an injured puppy that he saw out on the streets. He took the puppy to the vet, despite the clinic being far away from their home, and nursed him back to health.

The family says it is painful for them to live without Hamid, who was the light of their lives.

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Hammad Malik

Age: 13.5
Class: 8

Son of Erum and Tahir Anees Malik
Sibling: Kashaf Anees Malik (11)

Hammad loved horses and was an excellent horse rider.

His uncle had bought several horses in his Punjab village so Hammad could practice riding. He took part in a competition in Lahore and won a trophy.

His other hobby was collecting coins and antiques. He would decorate them all over tables and cupboards at the house.

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Muhammad Azhar Naseer

Age: 13
Class: 10

Son of Muhammad Naseer and Mussarat Bibi
Siblings: Saba Naseer (13), Nouman Naseer (12) and Kawal Naseer (11)

Azhar dreamt of becoming a doctor and providing free treatment to the poor. Biology was his favourite class at school and he always topped with 90pc marks.

Topping his last exam on Dec 12, Azhar's family had planned a function on Dec 16 ─ the day of the attack.

Azhar was a kindhearted and and softspoken boy. Once during a trip to the family village, he saw a puppy trapped in bushes during a rainstorm in freezing cold weather. The place was slippery and dangerous, his father says, but he brought the puppy home and fed and cared for it. The next day, he returned it to its mother.

His father says whenever he meets Azhar’s friends, he misses his son very much.

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Rizwan Sareer

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Nargis Begum and Lt. Col Sareer Khan
Siblings: Nauman Sareer (19), Salman Sareer (18)

Hailing from Charsadda, Rizwan was as big cricket fan. His brother, with whom he shared a room, said that they often played cricket in the bedroom. After his passing, he says he can never play again.

Rizwan’s father shares while Rizwan was playing in a public garden he found Rs2,000 dropped by someone. He was only in the second grade at the time but he promptly went to the reception and handed the money over to the guard, telling him to give it to the owner if he came looking.

His parents say they feel their son’s loss deeply, but are proud of the life that he has lived.

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Wahab ud Din

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Rakshanda and Kabir ud Din
Siblings: Sana (23) and Shahab ud Din (21)

For Wahab’s father, the loss of his youngest son was too much too bear. Two months after the horrific attack, his father’s health took a turn for the worse. He passed away.

His mother says her son was a studious child who worked late into the night. She also says he was very sensitive to his parents needs. He was close to his father, and would often discuss his passion for science and research with him. He wanted to become a scientist.

He loved cats. He took care of many strays, giving them milk and preparing special meals for them.

The family is shattered by this tragedy. They have lost the sole bread earner. Wahab’s mother prays for better days.

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Wasif Ali Khattak

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Captain Ali Khan Khattak and Shahnoon
Siblings: Asim (24), Laiba (22), Saqib (20) and Asif Siraj (19)

Wasif was the youngest of five siblings and for this reason, all his demands and wishes were met by his parents and siblings.

He loved animals. He once saw a puppy drowning in a canal and jumped in to rescue it.

He aspired to become a doctor when he grew up. He wanted to work in his village of Gundi Mirah Khan Khel Khattak. He would often tell his brother of his dream to establish a free treatment clinic in the village after he secured an MBBS degree.

His parents say they miss him dearly and wish he was with them every day.

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Yasirullah

Age: 13
Class: 8

Son of Hav. Nasirullah and Razia Bibi
Siblings: Tahirullah (12), Mansha Nasir (10), Insha Nasir (7) and Aliza Nasir (3)

A punctual and studious child, Yasirullah had originally aspired to be a doctor. But after being selected to attend Cadet College he decided he wanted to become an army soldier.

Hailing from Chitral, young Yasirullah enjoyed playing sports and won many medals and awards in cricket, badminton and football.

Yasirullah’s best friend was his cousin Syed Zulqarnain Shah. Both boys were killed in the auditorium. His father says every time he sees his son’s remaining friends, he misses Yasirullah.

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AGE 14


Abdullah Ghani Awan

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Lubna Tanveer and Tanveer Ahmed Awan
Siblings: Haroon Ghani Awan (19), Mohammad Tayyab Ghani Awan (11) and Dil Awan (10)

Abdullah truly loved animals. He kept parrots, hens, rabbits and fish at home. When the hens laid eggs, he eagerly waited to see them hatch so he could play with the chicks. A dozen chicks were born just recently, but Abdullah was not there to see them.

His father says he was close to Abdullah, and that he would seek his son’s opinion each time he dressed up to go out. He says he would only wear waistcoats when Abdullah approved the colour.

He recalls a time in the UAE, when he dared Abdullah to swim in a hotel pool that had strict rules regarding swimwear. He said Abdullah had a word with the lifeguard, and jumped right in fully clothed. He loved to take up a good challenge.

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Adil Shahzad

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Muhammad Younas and Azra Bibi
Siblings: Afan Shahzad (12), Aliza Shahzad (9) and Ahmed Ali (6)

A clever and responsible child, Adil Shahzad was the eldest of four children and regarded as a role model by his siblings and cousins.

Adil wanted to be a professor and aspired to get a PhD degree. A bright student, he enjoyed English, Urdu and Islamiat. He was also a good athlete, but had fractured both legs in 2010, making running difficult.

Adil was fond of the outdoors and picnics and tours with friends whenever he visited his village. Among Adil’s favourite foods were the milk and curd of his village, and the apples, bananas and oranges which grew there.

Adil and his siblings watched Doraemon together, his favourite cartoon. His family members are proud of him and miss him every day.

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Ailian Fozan

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Muhammad Fozan Shafi and Ayesha Fozan
Siblings: Famia Fozan (16) and Fiza Fozan (9)

Ailian spent every spare moment of his time riding his bicycle. I had decided what bicycle model I was going to buy him after his exams, his father said.

Active and sociable, Ailian was a good student too. His parents proudly display his letters of appreciation and certificates. He had planned to join the Pakistan Air Force.

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Ammar Iqbal

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Nauman Iqbal

Ammar Iqbal's family could not be contacted for this obituary.

His teachers describe Ammar as an intelligent and obedient student.

Miss Jameela says he had a jovial disposition and teased both students and members of staff.

He was a hard worker and outstanding in his studies. He wanted to become a surgeon.

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Arham Khan

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Sanaullah Khan Khattak and Noreen Sana
Siblings: Shaheer Khan (24), Zawat Khan (23) and Yashfeen Khan (19)

The youngest of four siblings, Arham was a brilliant student who had earned a double promotion from grade 6 to grade 8.

He took a keen interest in computers and was just learning to chat through Skype and Facebook.

His favourite food was Peshawar’s popular Chappali Kababs, which he would often ask his father to get for him on his way home from work.

Even at his young age, Arham would play the role of mediator if his siblings quarreled, and was the one who would help them patch up after an argument.

His family, especially his father, misses their young boy very much. Mr Khattak often goes to his son’s room to clean it just as Arham liked it.

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Atif ur Rehman

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Wazir Rehman and Bibi Zahra

Atif ur Rehman, the youngest of eight siblings, aspired to be a doctor and serve the residents of his village. His elder brother facilitated Atif’s move from their village to Peshawar for his studies.

A technology enthusiast, he enjoyed watching informative documentaries about gadgets and playing computer games. The responsible and soft-spoken teenager also liked playing cricket and football and was an avid Justin Bieber fan.

His elder brother says he feels Atif’s absence every day. He says after the family lost Atif, they were going through his schoolbooks and found he had written: “I love you, Dad. If anything happens, I would not let you down before anyone.”

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Awais Ahmed

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Sub Ikramullah and Hameeda Ahmed
Siblings: Ishfaq Ahmed (26), Nazia Ahmed (25), Shahab Ahmed (23), Waqas Ahmed (18), Zeeshan Ahmed (17) and Nimra Ahmed (8)

A respectful and empathetic child, Awais wanted to study medicine and become a doctor. He often lamented the condition of hospitals, particularly those in villages, and hoped to do his bit in improving and reforming systems.

Awais was the youngest among the sons, and his father, who has lost two sons to the massacre, remembers him as his most intelligent child. He was very good in maths and helped his siblings in academics.

Young Awais was also fond of keeping pets. At one point, he had two pigeons that he looked after and when one of them died, Awais couldn’t eat anything out of grief.

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Awais Nasir

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Jamal Abdul Nasir and Rozeena Nasir
Siblings: Hira Nasir (20), Sana Nasir (17), Haris (12) and Abdul Nasir (11)

Awais was of a happy disposition. Although almost always in a jocular mood, he remained respectful of elders. He was also a responsible brother of four siblings, and would never hit back when squabbles with his brothers would get a little out of hand.

Shaken by the death of his son, Jamal Abdul Nasir talks about how Awais loved dressing well. It was only three days before his son’s passing that Jamal had brought him three new suits from his trip to China. Those suits could never be worn by his son.

Awais was very close to his mother. His epitaph says “da moor bachay” (Pashto for son of the mother). He went to see the plot of land the family had bought t construct a home on, the day before his passing. He had asked his mother when the construction would begin, to which she said "after Ramazan". At the time Awais said he may not be alive to see it.

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Baqir Ali

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Rashid Ali Bangash and Shehla Rashid
Siblings: Alia Rashid (22), Humaira Rashid (22), Babar Ali Khan (19) and Uzma Rashid (17)

Be it a Spelling Bee or excellence in Arts, Baqir was an extraordinary student. He was so fond of reading, that he would finish his work and read books from his elder sister’s school curriculum. He had a superb memory and wanted to put it to good use by becoming a doctor.

Unlike other children his age, Baqir was a serious child. His father says he did not crack jokes and had a mature personality. His siblings describe him as a child who was always curious about knowing more.

He was dear to his parents and siblings as he was the youngest in the family. “We are missing your voice, your chuckle, your presence and all the fun we used to have,” his sisters say.

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Fahad Hussain

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Akhtar and Sameena Hussain
Siblings: Ahmed Hussain (17), Uzair Hussain (16) and Asim Hussain (9)

Fahad was killed the day of his birthday. The night before the attack, he had invited his friends and cousins to celebrate his birthday at home.

His friend Rehman describes his friend's bravery on the day of the attack. When militants entered the classroom and opened fire, Fahad opened the door and asked all his friends to run out. He stood at the door and made sure his classmates evacuated the room. It was then that he was hit on the head and leg.

He called out to the others to tell his brother Ahmed, also a student at the school, to come help him. But it was too late.

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Fazal Raheem

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Muhammad Usman and Mrs Usman
Siblings: Mohammad Faisal (22), Mohammad Faheem (21), Momna (19) and Nemra (12)

Fazal took admission in APS for the sole purpose of joining the Pakistan Army as an officer.

He enjoyed cricket and often played against his brothers on the roof of his house as their father forbid them from playing in the streets. He also liked horse-riding and often went to parks for the very purpose. Fazal was also a skilled guitar player.

He was closest to his mother. All the children in the family were given a weekly allowance of Rs50 but Fazal, according to his father, finished his pocket money in a single day and would come asking for more. When his father refused him once, he rushed to his mother and said in jest, “Why couldn’t you marry someone else?”

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Muhammad Furqan Haider

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Farhad Ali Bangash and Raheela Khatoon
Siblings: Nargis Batool (13) Fatma Batool (10) and Mohammad Zulqarnain Haider (8)

Furqan resided with his family in UAE but a year before his death, he took admission at APS to fulfill his ambition of joining the Pakistan Army. During that time he lived with his uncle in Peshawar, whose eyes fill with tears as he remembers his nephew. Even if somebody spoke to him harshly, he would never lose his patience or smile, his uncle says. “He was a good boy.”

Furqan was fond of babies and often took care of his younger siblings and cousins. He also loved baby chicks and would often bring them home.

He enjoyed watching and playing cricket. If there was a power breakdown, he would run to his neighbour’s, who had a generator, to continue watching the match.

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Hamayun Iqbal

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Mohammad Iqbal
Sibling: Sadia Iqbal (19), Palwasha Iqbal (17), Nafeesa Iqbal (15),Usman Iqbal (13), Shabir Iqbal (11) and Ali Iqbal (4)

Hamayun was a naughty but loved student. At least once a week, his father would be called to the school due to this trouble-making boy.

He says the minute he would reach the gate, the gate keeper, watchman, gardener, teacher and head teacher would start off, full of complaints about him. But because he was a good student, no one ever became angry with him. He was known in school as “Italian boy”.

He was close to his father and had a special bond with his grandfather Haji Saddar Azam. Humayun’s father says his grandfather had not been able to the bear the loss of his beloved grandson and grows weaker each day.

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Hamid Saif

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Nasreen Saif and Saifullah Khan
Siblings: Naeem Saif (26), Khalid Saif (24), Sajid Saif (21) and Aamir Saif (18)

The son of a soldier, Hamid was a star student. He was given awards and prizes for best English vocabulary and essay writing as well as best picture memory and earth day poster. He also won a Best Young Journalist certificate.

On the day of the attack, he had prepared a presentation and asked his uncle to pray it is the best in the class.

His teachers said he had leadership qualities as he was parade commander at school and was also selected to be proctor.

He used to joke with his father and lovingly call him by his first name, a gesture his father says he will never forget.

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Hamza Kamran

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Muhammad Kamran Shafi and Najma Kamran
Siblings: Momina Kamran (18) and Hira Kamran (16)

Hamza was a studious child. He had held several positions in his class and had also won many awards for sports and other activities.

The only brother of two sisters and close to his mother, Hamza would eat whatever meals were cooked at home but did particularly enjoy burgers and karhai gosht.

His parents recall how the one month the family spent together during Hajj last year created fond memories for them now that Hamza is no more. During Hajj, Hamza looked after two old ladies, helped them with their wheelchairs and made sure they were comfortable.

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Haris Nawaz

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Muhammad Nawaz
Sibling: Ahmad Nawaz (15)

Haris and his brother Ahmad were both targeted the day of the attack. While Ahmad was grievously injured and later treated at a UK hospital, Haris lost his life.

He was an intelligent child and bagged top positions from nursery till class eight. His room is full of certificates and medals.

His parents describe their boy as an obedient and respectful child. He wanted to grow up and be a doctor. He dreamt of opening a hospital that treated the poor free of charge.

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Hasnain Sharif

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Sharif Gul

Hasnain was an only child. When asked to talk about his son, his father says he is unable to express his sorrow. He had big dreams for his son. He hoped that Hasnain would complete his studies and work hard to make a mark in society.

Hasnain loved to visit his village, where he played for hours with the baby farm animals. He was quite particular about his clothes and would often ask his father to buy him new outfits.

His mother was unable to speak. She misses her son very much.

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Khushnood Zeb

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Rana Aurangzeb and Ruqia Bibil
Siblings: Rana Sana Zeb (20), Hafiz Rana Muhammad Aftab Zeb (16) and Rana Muhammad Mehtab Zeb (16)

According to his father, Rana was a brilliant student and had excellent oratory, reading and writing skills.

Rana wanted to become an army engineer and serve the nation. He idolized cricketer Shahid Afridi and would try to emulate his style. Among politicians, he liked Imran Khan and would often do a parody of him.

The family finds it hard to accept that their son is dead. They say it is still hard to eat or laugh the way they did when he was alive.

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Muhammad Abdullah Zafar

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Muhammad Arshad Zafar
Siblings: Muhammad Obaid (12) and Ali Musa (4)

Although a child, Abdullah could not really enjoy the carefree days of youth; his father died when he was just 12. He did not play pranks or act naughty like most other children his age, his mother says as she describes how he looked after the family. When everyone slept at night, Abdullah would wake up and make sure all the doors of the house were locked.

He was close to his mother and his love reflects in the many drawings he made to thank her.

Aspiring to join the army, Abdullah was also a position holder and would always remain among the top five students in his class. Not only was he bright, he was also creative in his thinking and had made a mathematical formula for his studies.

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Muhammad Ghasaan Khan

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Amin Khan and Bibi Ayesha
Siblings: Saima Amin (18), Palwasha Amin (18), Sawera Amin (16) and Mohammad Sharim Khan (12)

Known as the young scientist of the school, Ghasaan was a bright student and a position holder in his class.

He was creative and his father, who is a PHD scholar, says that Ghasaan’s writing was impeccable and barely needed any correction. He was fond of writing poetry in both English and Urdu languages.

Ghasaan’s teachers also recognised how bright he was and called him the teachers’ motivator.

Ghasaan’s father tells that on the day of exam result, the school guards and gatekeepers would wait for him as he would always distribute a special meal.

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Muhammad Haris Khan

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Ghulam Din and Shahida Nasreen
Siblings: Faisal (15), Usman (10), Faizan (Late, 3)

Haris’ death crushed his family. For his parents, it was the second time they had lost a child, as their son Faizan had passed away at age three.

His mother describes Haris as an obedient child who did everything for her the moment she asked. She says he was a responsible boy, who took care of her after the death of her first son. She adds that they were more best friends than mother and child.

She says that while she kisses her children goodbye before they leave for school, that fateful day she did not kiss Haris as he was running late – something she deeply regrets.

His family struggles to cope with the loss of a second precious member.

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Muhammad Salman

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Muhammad Ikram and Hameeda Bibi
Siblings: Abdur Rehman (7), Ayesha (9 ) and Madeeha (2)

The eldest among his siblings, Muhammad Salman aspired to become a doctor and his father was prepared to send him abroad to study medicine in case he failed to secure a position within Pakistan.

He enjoyed playing cricket and was good at the game. However, riding bikes was his favourite past-time. His father remembers how Salman would look for any opportunity to go out on the bike.

A jovial child, Salman cracked jokes all the time and would do parodies of famous actors and celebrities. He was very close to his grandfather and since Salman’s death, his grandfather’s health has been deteriorating.

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Muhammad Tayyab Fawad

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Muhammad Fawad
Siblings: Dursham Fawad (12) and Manahel Fawad (10)

A position holder in his class, Tayyab was not only bright when it came to studies but was also a very good volley ball player. He had won several awards.

His father tells how Tayyab was short-tempered and would do things in a hurry but at the same time made sure he didn’t get angry in front of his father.

Tayyab lost his mother in 2009 and at a very young age after which his grandmother looked after him. He learned many things by himself, such as riding a bike and using the computer. His family misses him.

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Nangyal Tariq

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Tariq Jan and Shagufta Tariq
Siblings: Mehwish Tariq age (18), Sohail Tariq (13) and Sawail Tariq (7)

For the most part, Nangyal Tariq was a somber boy but he would on occasion crack jokes to make his family members laugh. He showed a keen interest in studies and wanted to become an Army Captain.

He liked experimenting with his hair, and would often come up new hairstyles, his mother says.

Nangyal was affectionately called Sher Khan – he loved being addressed by his pet name. His family says that if he was ever unresponsive, the trick was to call him ‘Sher Khan’ to get his attention.

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Muhammad Shaheer Khan

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Shagufta and Muhammad Tahir Khan
Siblings: Mumna Khan (20), Mohammad Munib Khan (16) and Tooba (12)

Shaheer’s mother finds it hard to come to terms with the senseless killing of her son. She still keeps the tie he wore to school that morning, which now has visible tears from the bullets.

Shaheer was a naughty student. He loved computer games and had been begging his parents to buy him a PlayStation 4, which costs Rs48,000. When his parents told him he could only buy it if he did well on his exams, mischievous Shaheer prepared a hand written report card in order to claim his gift.

The family say they are trying to be brave but they miss their boy terribly.

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Sahibzada Omer Khan

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Fazal Mohammad Khan and Zaib-un-Nisa
Siblings: Sahibzada Afrasiab Khan (11), Sahibzadi Mishal Khan (6), Sahibzadi Aleena (4) and Sahibazada Jasem (9 months)

The eldest of five siblings, Omer played the role of the responsible older brother. His parents say he was an extraordinary son. He knew what they needed even before the said a word.

If his mother was busy with household chores, he would cook for his father and siblings. He was called the ‘leader of the house’. On the weekend, he would wake up early morning and wash his father’s cars without being asked.

Omer’s mother wakes up every night, searching for her son. The family prays for strength and say he is in a better place.

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Saif Ullah Durrani

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Tehseen Ullah Durrani and Falak Naz
Siblings: Sana (19), Hafsa (17) and Ammara (11)

Saif Ullah Durrani was known as ‘Potato’ to his classmates because of his love for the spud. He was very fond of food.

He and his brother often competed with each other to offer regular prayers at the mosque. Keeping the mosque clean and rendering other services to it was important to him.

His sister says he was naughty, which other children liked. Every time she asked him to bring something for her, he would ask for a commission, refusing to do so otherwise.

His father says his son would not eat lunch or dinner unless the gardeners, gatekeepers and drivers had theirs. He would personally go to them and ask them if they had eaten, and if any one hadn’t, he would request his mother to prepare a meal for them.

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Shahood Alam

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Zahoor
Sibling: Aresha Alam (13)

Shahood was an extraordinary student. With nearly 50 certificates and awards to his credit, it is no surprise that the young boy was a prominent figure at school as the proctor and ‘peacekeeper’.

His teachers remember him as the ‘shining star’ of the school. He hoped to take his CSS exams and work in Pakistan’s civil services.

Shahood was very responsible, and had opened a bank account and got a passport made for himself. His parents, who keep his cheque books and passport with them, say he had saved thousands of rupees in his bank account.

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Sher Nawaz

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Zuman Bibi and Masha Din
Siblings: Shah Mohammad (16) and Saad Mohammad (8)

Sher Nawaz was a considerate and kind boy. He believed in living a modest existence and never asked his parents for more money than was required.

According to his father, whenever Sher Nawaz went to visit his relatives, they would be full of praise for his good manners.

Sher Nawaz was also very helpful around the house. When he came home from school, he would help his mother in the kitchen, wash the dishes and clothes and knead the dough for cooking roti.

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Syed Mujahid Hussain Shah

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Zaib Hussain Shah and Sadia Bibi (late)
Siblings: Shahid Hussain Shah (15), Majid Hussain Shah (11), Maryum (9), Maria (7) and Fawad (1)

When his mother died, Zahid took it upon himself to take care of his siblings. He never wanted them to feel her absence, so he showered them with love. His youngest sister Maria was his favourite.

His father says Zahid was an ordinary student; he worked tremendously hard. His best subject was English. He was fond of skating. His father bought him a pair of skates much to his delight, so he would often be seen skating outside the house.

His family says losing him has made them very bitter, but they pray for endurance and for better days.

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Ali Abbas

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Muhammad Akram Shah
Siblings: Sundas Shah (13) and Ali Anis (9)

A native of the Nowshera district, Ali is described by his parents as a polite and considerate child who did not make demands of them as other children sometimes do. Whether it was clothes or other gifts, he was content with whatever he was given.

If there was one thing he was particular about, it was his appearance – especially his hair and skin. He had a special oil and cream for his hair and skin.

He was very close to his mother and grandmother, with whom he shared a special bond. Sometimes in the winter, he would tease his grandmother by switching the fan on and removing her blanket. She would lovingly make sweet parathas for her grandson.

His absence in their lives is felt every day. His sister and mother weep for Ali and say they will never forget him.

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Sohail Aslam

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Hav. Muhammad Aslam and Sakeem Aslam
Siblings: Muhammad Zohaib Aslam (9) and Muhammad Zeeshan Aslam (5)

Eldest among the siblings, Sohail was a responsible and caring child. Being the eldest, he was closer to his parents and would help them out in looking after the younger siblings and helping his mother in the kitchen. Sohail was very close to his brother Zohaib.

Sohail was a bright student and wanted to study in LUMS after high school. He began attending APS in November 2014, soon after his father’s transfer to Peshawar.

Sohail’s father remembers how his son made tea for the parents on the morning of Dec 16. He remembers Sohail to be really happy at the time.

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Syed Husnain Shah

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Syed Fazal Hussain and Saima Fazal Hussain
Sibling: Syed Talib Hasnain (11 months)

Husnain had big dreams. He had a passion for science and engineering and wanted to invent something that would change the world.

According to his mother, Husnain was the ‘perfect son’ who would always help her around the house.

“He always joked around with me and always made me laugh,” Husnain’s mother says.

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Tanveer Hussain

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Naib Subidar (retd) Atta Mohammad and Jatti Bibi
Siblings: Mehwish Nasim (17), Khawar Shahzad (16) and Mohammad Faraz (12)

Aspiring to become a doctor and serve the people of his native village, Tanveer was a bright and responsible child. Although young, he was heavily relied upon by his siblings, both older and younger, for help with their homework.

Tanveer was a good debater and would often partake in debating competitions. His father recalls how Tanveer had won many medals and how he himself wrote and worked on concepts for his debates.

His father remembers how Tanveer would also help his mother out in house chores and was a source of support to all members of the family.

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Uzair Ahmad

Age: 14
Class: 9

Son of Zahoor Ahmed and Farahnaz
Siblings: Tahira (13) and Fatma (2)

Uzair was a big wrestling fan. He loved watching matches and also collected figures and photos of famous wrestlers in an album.

He was an obedient son and was respectful of his elders. He was very close to his mother. His father recalls how, every day when he would return from work, Uzair would wait at the gate and jump onto his shoulders to greet him. They would often sit in the garden and talk about their day.

Uzair's family says their lives seem to have come to a standstill without him.

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Mohammad Uzair Ali

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Gulab Perveen and Ahmad Ali
Siblings: Malaika Ali (11) and Mohammad Jalal Ibrahim (7.5)

Mohammad Uzair Ali was a brave boy. His friends say on the day of the attack he fell atop them, shielding them from harm. This is why, according to the medical officer, Uzair was hit with 13 bullets.

That day, he had been told off by his history teacher. In a light-hearted way, Uzair said to her, “Miss, today you did not wear make-up, that’s why you are angry. Please, wear make-up! When you do, you are in a good mood.”

He was very dear to his grandfather, Haji Ali Khan and both were like best friends. His mother says her son was a generous boy, and once gave Rs120 to a poor woman who was begging on the street for blood pressure medication.

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Umair Arshad

Age: 14
Class: 8

Son of Arshad Ali and Salma Arshad
Siblings: Ayesha Arshad (17), Sumayya Arshad (14), Muhammad Uzair Arshad (9) and Mohammad Zubair Arshad (5)

The son of a soldier, Umair aspired to become an airforce pilot. He used to collect pictures and information on fighter jets used by Pakistan and other countries. For his age, he had a good understanding of what it takes to be a soldier in a country marred by terror.

Umair was also very fond of race cars and heavy bikes and loved collecting pictures of these vehicles. His father remembers how he had bought a bike for Umair and wanted to surprise him but it was not to be. It was the day of the APS attack. Umair’s bike stands by the porch of his house, still unused.

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Abrar Hussain

Age: 15
Class: 9

Son of Rajab Ali Rajab Ali and Roqqaya Bibi
Siblings: Muntazer Hussain (29), Arif Hussain (25), Jamshed Ali (23) and Sajda Hussain (18)

With his nose buried in textbooks, Abrar Hussain was fiercely competitive academically.

A hostel student at APS, he was top of his class for nine years straight. Whenever he returned to his village, he'd be found studying instead of mingling with friends. Every year, the school would call his parents in to show them his achievements.

According to his father, Abrar was always worried about coming second. If he wasn't studying, he'd be found at home, curled up in a quiet corner reading.

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Ahmad Elahi

Age: 15
Class: 9

Son of Mehfooz Elahi and Sumeer Sadiqi
Siblings: Faseeha Elahi (17) and Mohammad Elahi (13)

Ahmad was a position holder; he aspired to be a surgeon. His mother says he was very religious and offered all his prayers at the mosque. In fact, he would try to reach the mosque early so that he could recite the Azan.

He liked to play cricket with his friends but more than anything else, he loved his parrots. Just a few days before the attack he had bought a brand new cage for them.

Each night, before going to sleep, Ahmad had made it a habit to crawl into his mother’s bed and make sure he hadn’t said or done anything to hurt her. "If I did, I apologise for it."

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Ahmad Mujtaba

Age: 15
Class: 8

Son of M. Anwar Khan and Nayab Anwar
Siblings: Ahmad Murtaza (9), Iqra Anwar (18) and Javeria Anwar (16)

Mujtaba was a shy, quiet boy who hoped to join the Pakistan Army as a doctor one day. His best friends were his siblings.

The only time he did shed his shy demeanor was when he played cricket. He loved the sport with a passion.

But if there was anything Mujtaba loved more than cricket, it was brand new clothes; he loved the way they looked on him. For this reason, his father got four suits tailor-made for him. They hang in his wardrobe, unworn.

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Asad Aziz

Age: 15

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Dost Mohammad
Siblings: Tariq (31), Liaqat (29), Tahir (26), Rashid (24), Shahid (21) and Asia Bibi (19)

Asad was the ‘brightest child’ in the family and also the most athletic. Four days before the 15-year-old passed away in the attack, he had won a medal in table tennis.

In the summer of 2013, Asad and his family went out to spend the day by the river.

The young boy had just come out of the water a long swim when his cousin Zeeshan was swept up by a current and was going to drown. Without losing his calm, Asad jumped into the water and managed to pull his cousin out alive. He was a savior.

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Asfand Khan

Age: 15
Class: 10

Son of Ajoon Khan and Shahana Bibi
Siblings: Mohammad Wadan Khan (5) and Mahrosha Khan (12)

A quiet but confident teenager, Asfand Khan aspired to become a lawyer one day. He was also very passionate about driving and training at the gym.

Unlike most boys his age, Asfand liked being solitary and would spend most of his free time in his room. His respectful demeanor earned him love from elders and admiration of those younger to him.

In his father’s absence, Asfand took on the role of the man of the family. He would shoulder his father’s responsibilities and take care of his mother and siblings. “After my son’s shahadat, I will have to start my life from scratch,” his father says.

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Bahram Ahmad Khan

Age: 15
Class: 10

Son of Lt-Col Gulzar Ahmad Khan and Nosheen Gulzar
Siblings: Hassan Ahmad Khan (9) and Zaryab Ahmad Khan (19)

Bahram wanted to become a doctor and spend his life serving the underprivileged. Empathetic by nature, he was always moved when a disaster struck somewhere.

Bahram secured 91% in his last exam. This distinction was aside from the various medals he had won in academics and extra-curricular activities.

His father recalls a story Bahram’s friends shared from the APS attack. During the attack, a friend of Bahram fell to the floor and broke his glasses due to which he could barely see. Bahram came back to get him but on their way out was stopped by a terrorist. His friends recall that Bahram pushed the terrorist and received two bullets in the chest which resulted in his death.

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Basit Ali Sardar

Age: 15
Class: 8

Son of Sardar Ali and Sadaf Sardar

On 16 December 2014, six gunmen affiliated with the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) conducted a terrorist attack on the Army Public School in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. The militants, all of whom were foreign nationals, included one Chechen, three Arabs and two Afghans.[8] They entered the school and opened fire on school staff and children,[6][9] killing 149 people including 132 schoolchildren, ranging between eight and eighteen years of age making it the world's second deadliest school massacre.[10][11] A rescue operation was launched by the Pakistan Army's Special Services Group (SSG) special forces, who killed all six terrorists and rescued 960 people.[6][12][13]

According to various news agencies and commentators, the nature and preparation of the attack was very similar to that of the Beslan school hostage crisis that occurred in the North Ossetia–Alania region of the Russian Federation in 2004.[14][15][16][17][18]

Pakistan responded to the attacks by lifting its moratorium on the death penalty, intensifying the War in North-West Pakistan and authorizing military courts to try civilians through a constitutional amendment. On 2 December 2015, Pakistan hanged four militants involved in the Peshawar massacre,[19] whereas the mastermind of the attack, Omar Khorasani, was killed in a drone strike in eastern Afghanistan on 18 October 2017. The Supreme Court of Pakistan upheld the death sentences of two more convicts involved in the attack in the Said Zaman Khan v. Federation of Pakistan case on 29 August 2016.[20]

Background[edit]

Main articles: War in North-West Pakistan, Operation Zarb-e-Azb, and Operation Khyber-1

In June 2014, a joint military offensive was conducted by the Pakistan Armed Forces against various groups in North Waziristan which has been the site of a wave of violence. The military offensive, Operation Zarb-e-Azb, was launched in the wake of the 8 June attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, for which the TTP claimed responsibility. It is part of the ongoing war in North-West Pakistan in which more than 2,100 have been killed so far,[21] and, according to the Army, almost 90% of North Waziristan has been cleared.[22]

Attack[edit]

The attack began at around 10:30 A.M. when six gunmen,[3] wearing explosive belts entered the school from the back through a cemetery adjacent to the school[9] after having scaled the walls. Army Public School is located at Warsak Road near the Peshawar Cantt, and is part of Army Public Schools and College Systems that runs 146 schools in Pakistan.[3] Before entering the school, the gunmen set fire to the Suzuki Bolan ST41 van in which they had arrived. The terrorists, bearing automatic weapons,and grenades, moved straight toward the auditorium located at the centre of the complex and opened fire indiscriminately on the children who were gathered there for First aid training.[23] According to the Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the public relations department of the Pakistani military, Major-General Asim Bajwa, the terrorists did not intend to take any hostages but instead wanted to kill as many pupils as they could. As the terrorists opened fire, many of the pupils ran toward the two exits on the other side of the auditorium, but many of them were gunned down in the garden.

Reports also surfaced that pupils were forced to watch teachers, including principal Tahira Qazi, killed in front of them. Within 15 minutes, the SSG teams had stormed the school and entered the premises from two sides in their heavy armoured vehicles and trucks. Immediately, the SSG personnel engaged the terrorists, preventing them from going after and killing other remaining teaching staff and students. The gunmen moved to the administration block of the school and took hostages there. One of them was shot by the military personnel near the auditorium, while the other five managed to make it to the administration block. The emergency trauma teams, and units of the Army Medical Corps in military armoured vehicles were rushed to the school, Army Corps of Military Police and the provincial civilian Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police (KP Police) worked toward closing off any potential escape routes for the terrorists.

Meanwhile, the SSG commandos had reached the area and surrounded the administration block. Most of the operation took place in the attempt to clear this block and rescue the hostages taken by the gunmen. Special teams of snipers and their spotters pinpointed the terrorists; one of the six attackers was killed by the snipers from the windows and air vents, while the other three were killed when the commandos stormed the building and rescued the remaining hostages in the process. Seven commandos, including two officers, were injured in the battle. A search and clearance operation was started immediately to defuse any IEDs planted by the gunmen within the school premises or in the suicide vests that the terrorists were wearing. The terrorists were in contact with their handlers during the attack, but soon after the SSG had moved in, the security forces intercepted the terrorists' communications. "We know who they are and who they were in contact with but details can not be shared due to operation reasons. They were aware of locations and they must have carried out the recon of the area. And it is highly possible that someone from inside might have tipped them off." said Bajwa.

Casualties[edit]

An estimated total of 1,099 pupils and teaching staff were present on the school premises. Responding forces were successful in rescuing approximately 960, though 121 were injured. More than 150 people were killed, including 134 children and school staff members.

The provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa announced PKR 2,000,000 (US$20,000 approx.) as compensation to the kin of each of the deceased in the terror attack and PKR 200,000 (US$2,000 approx.) to the seriously injured.[24]

Responsibility[edit]

The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, describing it as revenge for Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the Pakistani military's offensive in North Waziristan that started in summer 2014.

TTP spokesman Muhammad Omar Khorasani said that "we targeted the school because the Army targets our families. We want them to feel our pain.", "Our six fighters successfully entered the Army school and we are giving them instructions from outside," said Khorasani by phone. Khorasani also said "Our suicide bombers have entered the school, they have instructions not to harm the children, but to target the Army personnel. It's a revenge attack for the Army offensive in North Waziristan." Later though the Taliban claimed contrary by putting out a statement saying, "More than 50 sons of important army officers were killed after being identified."[25][26] The attacks were mainly coordinated by TTP leaders operating in Afghanistan.[27] According to the Pakistani Federal Investigation Agency or FIA's early investigations, the group was led by the terrorist, Hussain Mubarak Patel who planned the attacks, accompanied by two other Indians and two Afghans who spoke Pashto and were from Eastern Afghanistan.[28] Moustafa Seyan Sediqyar was later killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan on 9 July 2016.[29]

On 18 December 2014, a video was released by TTP on their website showing a man named Umar Mansoor revealing that he was the mastermind behind the Peshawar School attack.[30] However, the Pakistan government officials commented that the planning of the attack was actually carried out by Saddam Jan, who was instructed by Umar Mansoor on behalf of Maulana Fazlullah.[31] On 26 December 2014 at midnight, Jan was hunted and killed by the special forces in Khyber Agency in a secret hideout alongside six unidentified high-value targets.[31]

Nationalities of the terrorists[edit]

The Pakistani intelligence community conducted an investigation to determine the nationalities of the terrorists, whom the FIA determined were all foreign fighters. The pictures of of six of the gunmen were released by the Pakistani Taliban[32] :[28]

  • Abu Shamil (also went by Abdur Rehman)— a Chechenfighter and thought to be the ringleader of the group.
  • Nouman Shah Helmand — an Afghan citizen from Helmand Province; the U.S. had placed a $500,000 bounty upon Nouman.
  • Wazir Alam Herat — an Afghan citizen from Herat.
  • Khatib al-Zubaidi — an Egyptian citizen.
  • Mohammad Zahedi — a Moroccan citizen.
  • Jibran al-Saeedi — a Saudi citizen.

The SIM card of the cell phone that was used by the terrorists was found to be registered to a woman belonging to the rural area of Hasilpur, Punjab.[28]

Reactions[edit]

Main article: Reactions to the 2014 Peshawar school massacre

I have decided to proceed to Peshawar and I will supervise the operation myself. These are my children and it is my loss.[33]
— Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan

The attack sparked widespread reactions in Pakistan, receiving condemnations from public, government, political and religious entities, journalists, and other members of Pakistani society. Pakistani media reacted strongly to the events, with major newspapers, news channels and many commentators calling for renewed and strong action against militants, especially against TTP.

International reaction to the attack was also widespread, with many countries and international organizations condemning the attack and expressing their condolences to the families of the victims. Many important personalities around the world also condemned the attack.

Prime MinisterNawaz Sharif condemned the attack, calling it a national tragedy and announced a three-day mourning period during which the national flag would fly at half mast. PresidentMamnoon Hussain and chief ministers of four provinces reacted strongly to the attack and condemned it.

Artists from around the world also expressed their concern and were very upset by this horrible act. Pakistani artist and singer Shehzad Roy[34] sang a new song for the victims of the Peshawar attack, which is now the official song on the National TV channel of Pakistan, PTV.

Major Pakistani political entities denounced and heavily condemned the attack on innocent children, calling for a strong reaction against the militants.[35]Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan calls off the protest.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai condemned the attack, saying in a statement: "I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold-blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us".[36] Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai said his "heart is bleeding" and his family is "traumatized" over the Peshawar school massacre.[37]

The terrorist organization al-Qaeda's spokesperson said that "Our hearts are bursting with pain" and that the soldiers should be targeted, not their children.[38]

Following the attack, Pakistani authorities launched crackdowns on Afghan refugee settlements to apprehend illegal immigrants. During the period, at least 30,000 Afghans left for Afghanistan, out of which close to 2,000 were deported due to lack of legal documentation.[39]

Aftermath[edit]

Further information: National Action Plan (Pakistan)

Many international media organisations referred to the attack as Pakistan's "9/11".[40] The popular opinion was one of anger against the TTP soon after the attacks. Pakistan's Government and its Armed Forces showed immediate reaction to the incident.[41]

According to the Iranian-American scholar, Vali Nasr, "the Taliban may be trying to slacken the resolve of the military by suggesting that there could be a tremendous human costs to the military offensive and create public pressure on the military to back off from this offensive, but it may actually ricochet on them."[41]

On the second day after the attack, the moratorium on capital punishment was lifted in terror-related cases by Nawaz Sharif[42][43] after which Mohammed Aqeel along with Arshad Mehmood, the convicted for a failed assassination attempt on the previous President, General Pervez Musharraf, were executed on the 19th of December.[44][45]

Protesters in Pakistan's capital Islamabad surrounded a pro-Taliban mosque and reclaimed the space.[46]

A series of candle vigils were held throughout Pakistan in solidarity with the victims. A number of international communities recorded their protest to condemn the attack.[47][48]

On 30 December 2014, Pakistani batsman Younis Khan visited the school. The Pakistani team played a test match against New Zealand on the second day after the massacre. Younis Khan handed over cricket kits and a cheque sent by the New Zealand cricket team.[49]

ISPR released a song, "Bara Dushman Bana Phirta Hai Jo Bachon Se Larta Hai", to pay tribute to victims.[50]

In 2015, Pakistan renamed 107 schools after school children killed during the massacre in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region.[51]

The 2015 video game Pakistan Army Retribution is set during the Peshawar school massacre. After a negative review on the website of DAWN, people on Twitter also outed their criticism on the game. Pakistan Army Retribution was pulled from the Google Play Store in January 2016.[52]

Reopen[edit]

The Army Public School Peshawar was reopened on 12 January 2015 under the guard of Pakistan's security forces.[53] To uplift the morale and spirit of the students and victims of school the chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif himself attended the morning assembly of the school and confirmed them that no such incident will ever occur in Pakistan again they will break the backbone of Taliban.[53]

Lifting of moratorium on executions of terrorists[edit]

See also: Capital punishment in Pakistan

On 17 December 2014, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved paperwork to remove the moratorium on the death penalty in terror-related cases.[54] Sources from the Prime Minister's Secretariat stated: "The Prime Minister has approved abolishment of moratorium on the execution of death penalty in terrorism-related cases."[54]

Pakistan has had a moratorium on executions since 2008. Currently there are approximately 800 people on death row in Pakistan in terrorism related cases.[55] The move comes following the widely held perception that terrorists are never brought to justice in Pakistan. Many times, the judges and witnesses are too scared to come forward and award due sentences to the terrorists. And even when the terrorists are convicted and sent to prison, the frail policing system of Pakistan has seen many jailbreaks, including the Bannu[56] and Dera Ismail Khan[57] jailbreaks, in which many high-profile terrorists escaped.

David Griffiths, Deputy Director for Amnesty International Asia-Pacific opposed the decision, saying "Resorting to the death penalty is not the answer – it is never the answer. This is where the government should focus its energies, rather than perpetuating the cycle of violence with the resumption of executions."[58]

Retaliation[edit]

Further information: National Action Plan (Pakistan) and Operation Zarb-e-Azb

Retaliatory UAV and air-strikes[edit]

Main articles: PAF strikes in Waziristan and Drone strikes in Pakistan

Since the school attack, the combined unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and air-strikes on terrorists have been geared up, and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is on a manhunt for Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah; he narrowly escaped a UAV strike on 25 November.[59] On 17 December, the PAF's F-16s and JF-17s jets engaged in bombings against terrorist hideouts in the Tirah Valley, close to the Afghan-Pakistani border targeting 57 terrorists. Twenty additional aerial bombing missions were carried out using dynamic targeting.[60] On 16 December, a United States CIA UAV strike killed four TTP terrorists in eastern Afghanistan.[61]

On December 20, another UAV strike targeted and killed five suspected terrorists in North Waziristan, and according to officials, the death toll was expected to rise.[62] During the same time, around 21 TTP terrorists were reportedly killed by PAF strikes in Khyber Agency as they attempted to escape to Afghanistan.[63] On 20 December 2014, an unconfirmed media report stated that Fazlullah was killed by PAF air-strikes in Afghanistan.[64][65]Air Intelligence and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have not commented on the report; no official response was given by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) over the reports.[64]

Mastermind of the attack, Umar Mansoor, was reported to have been wounded in a United States drone strike in Paktia Province of Afghanistan on 17 October 2017. He was shifted to an undisclosed location and reportedly succumbed to his injuries. TTP confirmed his death in a statement sent to journalists through e-mail and added that Khalifa Usman Mansoor will replace him as the new commander for the areas of Darra Adam Khel and Peshawar.[66]

Targeted killings of Tehrik-i-Taliban terrorists[edit]

Main articles: Targeted killings in Pakistan and Police encounter

Reports were circulating widely in televised news media about law enforcement agencies tracking down the militants and targeting TTP operatives in a series of police encounters taking place in all over the country. After the school attack, Pakistani intelligence agencies chased down and apprehended four TTP terrorists in Quetta, before they could make their escape to Afghanistan. In a police encounter with Karachi Metro Police and the Crime Investigation Department (CID), the TTP leader, Abid Muchar,[67] was chased and gunned down along with his three associates in Musharraf Colony. In a separate action in Karachi, the CID teams, in a high-speed chase in Hawke's Bay Beach, pursued and apprehended five members of Al-Qaeda's South Asian chapter who are suspected of planning an attack on Karachi Naval Dockyard in September. On December 20, a team of Pakistan Rangers personnel raided a safe house in Manghopir area of Karachi and killed five members of the TTP in a shoot out.[68]

During the afternoon of 20 December, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police (KP Police) and the special agents of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raided a safe house in Shabqadar, a town located 30 km (19 mi) north of Peshawar. In an exchange of fire at the safe house, the KPK police and other law enforcement agencies gunned down the six TTP fighters, including their commander and two other high-value targets who assisted in the school attack.[69] Acting on Pakistani Military Intelligence information, Special Service Group Navy (SSGN) teams were inserted into the secret hideout in Khyber Agency and stalked the six terrorists led by Saddam Jan — the mastermind of the Army Public School attack.[31] In a late night operation, the SSGN teams reportedly killed Jan along with his six militants. An unnamed senior Pakistan Government official confirmed the report.[31]

On 9 January 2015, the CID teams gunned down four Al-Qaeda operatives after another high-speed car chase took place in Qayyumabad in Karachi.[70] In another separate midnight action in Lahore, teams of FIA agents, assisted by the Punjab Police, raided a house located in Burki Road.[71] After an almost two-hour gun battle, the FIA agents gunned down Roohullah (alias: Asadullah) – the mastermind of the Wagah border attack – along with three of his associates. Since the attack on the school, the FIA had been on the hunt for Roohullah, and he was finally killed in a police encounter in Lahore.[71]

Communications with Afghanistan and ISAF[edit]

See also: 2014 Kunar Offensive

On 17 December, Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, accompanied by the Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant-General Rizwan Akhtar, went to Kabul to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and General John F. Campbell, the commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. According to news sources in Pakistan, General Raheel asked for the handover of the TTP leadership and asked the Afghan government to act against hideouts of the Taliban terrorists in its territory.[72] At the meeting with Afghan officials, General Raheel delivered a message to Afghan National Army's Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Sher Mohammad Karimi, "to take decisive action against sanctuaries of the TTP or else Pakistan would go for a hot pursuit."[73] One intelligence official confirmed the message relayed to the Afghan president and reportedly cautioned that "if Afghan authorities fail to act this time, we will explore all options, including hot pursuit."[73] In further talks, General Raheel told the Afghan president that "Pakistan's military could eliminate TTP's sanctuaries in Kunar and Nuristan Province on its own but was showing restraint due to Afghanistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity." President Ghani assured General Raheel that his country would take all the necessary steps to root out the terrorists. A joint operation against the Taliban was also discussed with the Afghan leadership.[73] In a media report published in The Nation, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan released a separate statement to Afghan president on a "hot pursuit" and has sent a message to Kabul reportedly stressing: "Wipe out Taliban or we will."[74]

The Pakistani military went into active pursuit in the form of manhunt missions after the attack.[75][76][77] On the night of December 18, the Pakistan Army's military units stalked the fleeing terrorists and immediately launched a simultaneous ground offensive in the Khyber Agency and the Tirah Valley when the terrorists were on the run to Afghanistan.[77] In the assault, there were reports that some terrorists had fled and had left behind the dead bodies of their fellow terrorist companions – photos of which have been circulating on social media.[77] In a separate air strike in Khyber Agency on the same night, the PAF's fighter aircraft reportedly hunted and killed a top commander and 17 other terrorists who were attempting to flee to Afghanistan.[76]

On 14 January 2015, five men were arrested in Afghanistan over suspicion of being involved in the attack in Afghanistan by Afghan security forces after the Pakistani authorities provided intelligence information.[78] On 9 July 2016, the mastermind of the attack Khalid Khurasani was confirmed dead in a U.S. drone strike in Nangarhar, Afghanistan.[29]

21st Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan[edit]

On 6 January 2015, both houses of the Parliament of Pakistan unanimously passed the "Constitution (Twenty-First Amendment) Act 2015", which was signed into law by the President on 7 January 2015. The Amendment provided a constitutional cover to the military courts that were established in the country for speedy trials of the terrorists. The Amendment contained a "sunset" clause and ceased to be part of the Constitution after two years on 7 January 2017.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Candlelight vigil in London, UK for the victims of the terrorist attack

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