Written By: Saniya Ahmad
It all began on the morning of 16th December, 2014, when six to eight militants entered the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar and opened gunfire and blasted bombs, killing anyone who came in their way. The counts started from 7 children dying to the martyrdom of 130 people, within a few hours, at the hands of these terrorists. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the dreadful massacre.
Twitter and Facebook was full of concerned youngsters and adults when the death count was increasing; people who were not even related to the deceased or the injured were just as worried for the safety of the children of the nation, the children of Peshawar. Silent prayers were on the lips of every Pakistani today. Every Pakistani was waiting for it all to end, everyone was hoping to wake up from this horrible nightmare to realize it wasn’t true. All citizens of our beloved Pakistan were united, with eyed glued to their televisions, praying, and hoping against hope, because there wasn’t much else they could do to help.
I watched the parents and relatives of the dead, running about frantically in search of their loved ones. Mothers were fainting, bursting into terrifying wails on hearing the news of their children being brought back from school in a coffin. Fathers were torn apart after being informed that they would have to organize a funeral of their child. Brothers and sisters of the deceased could not imagine that they would now have to live a life without their siblings.
I watched the bloody bodies of the injured being rushed to the hospital on my TV. I saw 130 coffins being prepared for their respective funerals. I saw the coffins with the tiny bodies of the children in it, being carried by fathers, brothers, relatives and volunteers. I watched little kids being rescued by the Pakistan Army and running to their parents, with tears streaming down their face. Every channel I turned to, I saw two things: chaos and fear.
It’s a feeling so terrifying that it cannot be explained in words – the bewildering feeling of thinking what makes the terrorists do something so barbaric, horrendous and inhumane so as to kill children, little innocent children, who had done nothing wrong except for waking up and going to school? What makes them turn into such cruel and vicious creatures who kill 130 people and believe that they have successfully achieved their Heaven? What makes them believe that taking revenge because of the Zarb-e-Azb operation, by taking the lives of children could somehow be justified? But I wonder why I even ask these questions when I know the terrorists have no remorse or guilt, that they have died at the hands of the Pakistan Army but their fellow terrorists are probably dancing around in glee at the “success” of the operation.
A statement by the spokesperson of the TTP was released in which he said – “It’s a revenge attack for the army offensive in North Waziristan.” They were so intent on hurting the Army officials in every way possible that they entered one room and just asked the children inside to raise their hands if their fathers were in the Army. All the kids who did were shot point blank. Such is the barbarism of these animalistic Taliban. Even animalistic sounds like an unreasonable word to justify them, because even animals take care of their young.
I heard a statement of one of the elder students who survived. He said – “the terrorist entered our room and told us to recite the kalma.” Why did he order them to recite it? Because he wanted to kill them as a Muslim. Another statement of a father of a martyred child gave me chills down my spine. He said – “my son went to school in a uniform, and he came back in a kafan.” Another father said – “My child has not wanted to go to school today, oh how I wish I had listened to him”.
The fact of the matter is this – 130 people have died today (141 as of the latest count), over a 100 people have been injured, but these are just statistics for us now. We do not mourn human lives anymore. We do not have sympathy anymore. We do not feel the pain anymore. We feel horrified today, but by tomorrow we will have forgotten and we will have moved on to something else to cry about.
The government has announced a 3-day mourning for the lives lost. Did they give any thought to the mother whose whole life will not be spent in mourning? Did they give any thought on the emptiness of the houses of the families of the deceased? Did they give any thought to the children who will now be scared of going to school to achieve education? Did they give a thought to the stress disorders that will haunt the surviving children and their families, and all of Pakistan for the rest of their lives?
Political leaders have “condemned” the attack. They have demanded an investigation, and they have asked their officials to increase the securities of school. But does it make any difference? What use is the security, now that so many children have lost their lives? What use is the security to the dead children now? What use is the condemnation which is just a façade to show to the nation? What use is the investigation which will be left in the middle of nowhere?
Today is truly a black day. Today is truly a day of mourning. Today is truly a day when the nation lost their own children, their own future, and their own next generation. No words said can be meaningful enough to lessen the excruciating pain of this incident. But I have a prayer – that may God take His revenge. May God bless the martyrs. May God bless the affected families. May God burn the terrorists in hell. And may God make Pakistan, the Land of the Pure – pure from evil, pure from massacres and pure from terrorists. May God save Pakistan.