By Islamuddin Sajid
Pakistan on Sunday observed the fourth anniversary of a deadly attack on an army-run school in a northwestern city, which claimed lives of nearly 150 people, mostly schoolchildren.
The main observance was held at Peshawar’s Army Public School, which was attended by parents of victims, top provincial government and Pakistan army officials.
Portraits of the victims were displayed at the schools premises along the roads of Peshawar city to pay tribute to the slain children and their teachers.
On Dec. 16, 2014, six Taliban terrorists stormed Army Public School and killed nearly 150 people, including more than 130 schoolchildren.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Khalifa Mansoor group had claimed responsibility for the attack. Mansoor was later killed in a U.S. drone attack in eastern Afghanistan in Oct. 2017.
In a message run on the Pakistani state media, President Dr. Arif Alvi called the incident as “a national tragedy,” as well as a day to re-pledge the nation’s commitment against “the inimical forces.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan also paid tributes to the terror victims.
"Today as we remember& pray for the survivors & the victims' families, especially the parents, of the Peshawar APS terrorist attack, my government commits itself to fully implementing NAP [anti-terror National Action Plan] to rid Pak of all forms of terrorism, violence & hatred," Khan said in a Twitter post.
Pakistan lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty after the massacre.
According to Pakistan army, all six militants, who were involved in the attack have been executed.
The military courts, established soon after the attack, awarded death sentences to 310 militants and 56 of them have been executed so far, said a statement issued by the army.