First Anniversary of APS tragedy observed under PAT & MQI
On the occasion of first anniversary of APS tragedy Peshawar, Quran Khawani was held in 55 districts including Lahore for the departed souls of martyred children. The candles were lit as a tribute to the martyred children for their valour and patriotism.
The main memorial event took place in Lahore in which Federal Council President Dr Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri was the guest of honour. Senior political leader Begum Syeda Abida Hussain, senior artist Bahar Begum, Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, Major (r ) Muhammad Saeed, Sikh leader Sardar Bishan Singh, Sahibzada Mahmood Faizi, Shahzad Rasool, Shahzad Naqvi, and Shahid Latif also addressed the ceremony.
Addressing this ceremony of national solidarity, Dr Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri said that we pay homage to bravery, courage and determination of children, parents and teachers of the Army Public School Peshawar. He demanded that Operation Zarb-e-Azb be extended to the rest of the country, adding that time to narrow down space for killers of our children, their supporters, abettors and facilitators has come. He said that the children by presenting the ultimate sacrifice of their lives drew up a red line and made the terrorists the subject of eternal condemnation. He said that Operation Zarb-e-Azb is a milestone against terrorism, adding that in order to eliminate sources of terrorism, the launch of Zarb-e-Ilm is equally inevitable. He said that ignorance is at the heart of mushroom growth of extremism and terrorism and it is by spreading light of knowledge can we overcome darkness of militancy and radicalization.
Senior politician Begum Syeda Abida Hussain paid rich tributes to the martyred children of Army Public School and all those who have lost their lives in war against terrorism. She emphasized 100% implementation of National Action Plan as being inevitable for elimination of terrorism from the country. She asked the government to fulfill her duties for protection of students and educational institutions and earmark funds for this purpose. She said that sacred blood of the martyrs will not go in vain. She said that terrorists do not have any space either in Pakistan or in Islam. She suggested that rulers should dedicate all their energies and resources to uproot terrorism from the motherland. She paid tribute to Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri for holding special ceremony to eulogize the sacrifices of the students of the Army Public School.
Speaking on the occasion, PAT Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said that terrorists injured our souls on the ill-fated day of December 16 but the whole nation rose together like a rock against forces of terrorism and obscurantism and thus demonstrated its true character. He said that the masses showed historic unity to launch a war on the enemies of Islam, Pakistan and humanity. He paid rich tributes to the martyrs of APS, the officers and jawans of the armed forces taking part in Operation Zarb-e-Azb and especially those who lost their lives.
Renowned TV artist Bahar Begum said that people normally lay floral wreath on the graves but on the fateful day of December 16, the flower-like children were buried in the graves. She said had she not come to attend the ceremony held to pay tributes to the martyrs of APS, she should have considered herself the most unfortunate woman. She said that the Army Chief deserves our homage who hanged the culprits of APS tragedy before the first anniversary of the heart-rending incident approached. She said that the handful of terrorists want to push Pakistan into stone-age urging the people of Pakistan to defeat such elements with national resolve.
Sardar Bishan Singh said that terrorism and extremism have a very deep connection with bad governance. He said that people belonging to all walks of life and all elements of national power will have to continue to be on the same page to eliminate injustice and terrorism from the country. He said that Sikh community stands in solidarity with their Muslim brothers and sisters in their fight against terrorism and extremism.
Syed Amjad Ali Shah, Imran Butt, Tayyab Aslam, Nasir Mahmood Advocate, Haji Muhammad Ishaq, and people belonging to various walks of life attended the ceremony.